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VOL. 'IV. 

Edinburgh: Printed by Thomas and Archibald Constable, 









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Chaptee I. — Antiquity of the Origin of the Scots — Their Ex- 
ploits — The Material World : that is to say, the Earth, and 
its four principal points, East, West, South, and North, . 1 

Chapter II. — The four Cardinal Winds, with their eight col- 
laterals ; and the summit of the Material World, the 
Terrestrial Paradise in the East, . . . . .2 

Chapter III. — The three unequally divided portions of the 
World, and the Inland Sea, . . . . . .2 

Chapter IV. — Division of the three portions of the World 
among the three sons of Noah : Shem, Ham, and Japhet — 
Position of certain regions of Asia and Africa, . . .3 

Chapter V. — Position of certain regions of Europe : namely, 
Scythia, Greece, and the City of Rome, .... 4 

Chapter VI. — The same continued — The greater islands of 
Europe : Albion and Hibernia, ..... 5 

Chapter VII. — The number of years from the beginning of 
the World to the Birth of Christ, divided into five ages, . 6 

Chapter VIII. — The first occasion of the Origin of the Scots ; 
and their first king Gaythelos, ..... 6 

Chapter IX. — The successive kings of Egypt, down to Pha- 
raoh, Scota's father, who was drowned in the Red Sea, . 7 




Chapter X. — The period at which the Scots had their origin, 

and from whom ; and their outlawry from Egypt, . 8 

Chapter XI. — Gaythelos is elected king, and sets out for the 

West, 9 

Chapter XII. — SUiy made by Gaythelos in Africa ; and cause of 

his first repairing to Spain, , . . . . .10 

Chapter XIII. — Reason alleged by some for the departure from 

Egypt of Gaythelos, and the rest who went away from the same 

cause, . . . . . . . . . .11 

Chapter XIV. — How Gaythelos obtained his first settlement in 

Spain, . . . . . . . . . .11 

Chapter XV.- -On account of the continual slaughter of his 

people there, Gaythelos sends out explorers to search for lands 

out at sea — Their return when they had discovered a certain 

island, . . . . . . . .12 

Chapter XVI. — Same continued — He exhorts his sons to go to 

that island, . . . . . . . . .13 

Chapter XVII. — Hyber, the sou of Gaythelos, goes to the island 

and takes possession of it — It is afterwards called Hibernia 

after him, ..... ... 1 4 

Chapter XVIII. — What the learned Isidore and the Venerable 

Bede have written about Hibernia, . . . . .15 

Chapter XIX. — The laws which Gaythelos first taught his 

people, . . . . . . . . . .16 

Chapter XX. — Hyber, the son of Gaythelos, succeeds to the 

throne of the Scots dwelling in Spain, after his father's death, 1 7 
Chapter XXI. — Mycelius, king of the Scots of Spain, and his 

sons set out for Ireland, . . . . . . .18 

Chapter XXII. — Geoffroy of Monmouth's account of Bartholo- 

mus, son of Mycelius, 19 

Chapter XXIII. — Discrepancies of Histories, . . .20 

Chapter XXIV. — About the time of the first capture of Rome, 

not Scots, but Picts, attempting a settlement in Ireland, arc 

sent by the Scots to Albion, . . . . . .21 



Chapter XXVI. — Third expedition of the Scots to Ireland made 

by Smonbricht — His Genealogy, . . . . .22 

Chapter XXVII. — Smonbricht — The Throne of Stone, and the 

prophecy concerning it, . . . . . . .23 

Chapter XXVIII. — The first king of the Scots inhabiting the 

islands of Albion, . . . . . . . .24 

Chapter XXIX. — The Picts, arriving in Ireland to settle there, 

are driven off by the Scots, and sent to Albion, . . .25 

Chapter XXX. — Bede's account of the arrival of the Picts, . 26 
Chapter XXXI. — Original cause of the arrival of the Scots in 

the island of Albion, . . . . . . .26 

Chapter XXXIV. — The first king of the Scots holding sway in 

Albion, . .28 

Chapter XXXV. — The northern parts of Albion first possessed 

by the nation of the Picts and Scots, . . . . .28 


Chapter I. — -Situation, length, and breadth of this island of Albion 
— Its change of name into Britannia and Scotia, . . .30 

Chapter II. — Divers passages of Geoffroy, afl&rming that Britan- 
nia is divided from Scotia, . . . . . .31 

Chapter III. — Passages of William of Malmesbury and the Vener- 
able Bede affirming the same thing, . . . . .32 

Chapter IV. — Passages from the same Writers affirming the 
reverse of this — History very often distorted and falsified by 
rival transcribers, . . . . . . . .33 

Chapter V. — Brutus, under whom the Britons first arrived in the 
island of Albion, 34 

Chapter VI. — Division of the three kingdoms of the Britons 
among the sons of Biiitus, . . . . . .35 

Chapter VII. — Scotia : its nature and extent, now and formerly, 36 

Chapter VIII. — Lowlands and Highlands of Scotia, and what is 

contained in them, . .37 

VOL. II. a 2 



Chapter IX. — The nations of Scotia, and their languages, distinct 
— Their dififerent manners and customs, . . . .38 

Chapter X. — The islands of Scotia, apart from the Orkneys, . 39 

Chapter XL— The Orkneys, 40 

Chapter XII. — Fergus, son of Ferchard, the first king of the 
Scots, begins to reign in Scotia — The arms he bore, . .41 

Chapter XIII. — King Rether, the great-great-grandson of Fergus, 
called Reuda by Bede, . . . . . . .42 

Chapter XIV. — Julius Csesar sends an embassy to the kings of 
the Scots and Picts, exhorting them to submit to the Romans, 43 

Chapter XV. — Answer these kings returned to Julius by letter, 44 

Chapter XVI. — Sudden return of Julius in order to quell the 
repeated rebellion of the Franks or Gauls — The stone landmark, 
the extreme limit of the Roman possessions to the North- 
west, . . .• . . . . . .46 

Chapter XVII. — Julius Csesar, first Emperor — His usurpation of 

the sovereignty of Rome, . . . . . .47 

Chapter XXI. — Conception and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, 48 

Chapter XXIV. — Accession of Claudius Caesar — He makes war 
on the Britons — Accession of Nero, . . . . .49 

Chapter XXV. — In the twelfth year of Claudius begins the war 
of the Britons, against the Scots, . . . . .50 

Chapter XXVI. — The savage wars of the Scots and Picts against 
the Britons, and their first conquest of the region of Albania, 
beyond the Scottish Firth, . . . . . .51 

Chapter XXVII. — The Moravienses driven out by the Romans 
from their native soil of Moravia — They afterwards join the 
Picts, 52 

Chapter XXVIII. — Monument which Marius, leader of the 
Roman legions, caused to be erected in memory of the battle — 
Succession of emperors, . . . . . . .53 

Chapter XXXI. — Alliance of Fulgentius, leader of the Britons 
in Albania, with the Scots and Picts, . . . . .54 

Chapter XXXII. — The Emperor Severus, to shut out the Scots 


and Picts from invading the Britons, has a wall made across 
the island, ......... 55 

Chaptee XXXIII. — Fulgentius, supported by an auxiliary body 
of Scots and Picts, besieges the city of York, and slays the 
Emperor Severus, . . . . . . . .55 

Chaptee XXXIV. — Bede's account of the said wall, and of the 
siege, and of the death of Severus, » . . . . 5Q 

Chapter XXXV. — The Pope Saint Victor i., under whom the 
Scots began to embrace the Catholic faith, . . . .57 

Chaptee XXXVI. — Succession of many insignificant emperors, . 58 

Chaptee XXXVII. — First occasion of the dissensions which 
sprang up between the Scots and Picts, in the time of Dio- 
cletian, or a little before, . . . . . . .58 

Chaptee XXXVIII. — Covenant of Carausius with the Scots and 
Picts — First expulsion of the Romans from Britannia, . .60 

Chaptee XXXIX. — Ratification of this covenant and treaty nego- 
tiated by Carausius between the island nations — the Scots, 
Britons, and Picts — to last for ever, . . . . .61 

Chaptee XL. — Death of Carausius by treachery, at the hands of 
Adlectus, a soldier — His exhortation, or instructions to the 
islanders, how they might always defend themselves from the 
Romans, or any other foreign foes, . . . , .62 

Chaptee XLI. — Accession of the Emperors Galerius and Constan- 
tius — War of Constantius against the Scots and the Britons of 
Albania, 63 

Chaptee XLII. — Accession of the Emperor Constantino the 
Great — His maternal uncle, Traherius, slain by the Scots and 
Britons, ......... 64 

Chaptee XLIII. — Octavius, king of the Britons, restores the 
three nations of the island — the Scots, Britons, and Picts — to 
the unity of peace, as Carausius had formerly done — Accession 
of the sons of Constantino, . . . , . ,65 

Chaptee XLIV. — Conan, nephew of Octavius, leads the Scots 
and Picts to fight against the tyrant Maximus, cousin of Con- 



stantine the Great — Maximus, afterwards, by a feigned peace, 
cunningly separates the Picts from the Scots, . . .66 

Chapter XLV. — The Britons and Picts, led by Maximus, cast 
out the Scots from the kingdom, . . , .67 

Chapter XL VI. — The Emperor Constantius transfers the relics 
of the blessed Apostle Andrew from the city of Patras to Con- 
stantinople, . . . . . . . . .69 

Chapter XL VII. — The angel of the Lord had commanded the 
blessed abbot Regulus and his companions to take part of the 
relics, and go to the northern parts of the world without delay, 70 

Chapter XL VIII. — Shipwreck and first arrival in Scotia of 
Regulus and his companions with the relics, in the time of 
Hurgust, king of the Picts, . . . . . .71 

Chapter XLIX. — Maximus crushes the Scots in war, after having 
separated them from the Picts ; and subdues the latter also — 
Succession of emperors, . . . . . . .72 

Chapter L. — Presumptuous attempt of Maximus upon the Roman 
Empire — He is slain — Conan, to whom he had handed over the 
kingdom of Armorica, thenceforth called Britannia Minor — 
Succession of emperors, . . , . . . .74 

Chapter LII. — On the death of the tyrant Maximus, the Scots 
begin to win back their kingdom — Succession of emperors, . 75 


Chapter I. — Fergus, son of Erth, joins the Picts and regains 
the kingdom which had been, through the treachery of the 
tyrant Maximus, held by the Romans and Britons for forty- 
three years, ......... 77 

Chapter II. — The same continued — Expulsion of the Romans 
and Britons from his dominions, 78 

Chapter III. — Cruel slaughter of the Britons and the Roman 
legion by the Scots and Picts— Building of a dyke, called 
Grimsdyke, across the island, 79 



Chapter IV. — Victory of the Roman legion and the Britons over 
the Scots and Picts, in a war in which fell King Fergus and a 
great number of his people and of the Picts, . . .81 

Chapter V. — Accession of King Eugenius, son of Farchard — 
He, together with his grandfather, Gryme, breaks down Grymis- 
dyke — A second legion drives the Scots and Picts back across 
the Tyne, . . 82 

Chapter VI. — The wall which the Emperor Severus had formerly 
commanded to be built across the island between Gateshead and 
Carlisle repaired — Return of the legion — Election of the first 
king of the Franks, . . . . . . .83 

Chapter VII. — The Scots destroy the wall, and bring slaughter 
upon the Britons, . . . . . . . .84 

Chapter VIII. — Arrival in Scotland of Saint Palladius, the first 
bishop and teacher of the Scots, although these had long before 
embraced the faith, . . . . . . .85 

Chapter IX. — Account of Saint Palladius continued — Saint Ser- 
vanus — Saint Kentigern — Saint Ternan — Saint Ninian, . 86 

Chapter X. — The wall broken down by the Scots and Picts, 
whence its name — The Britons of Albania subjected to the 
sway of the Scots, . . . . . . . . 87 

Chapter XI. — The Britons yet again write to the Romans, 
Litorius and Aetius, to wit, for succours, which they do not 
obtain, .......... 88 

Chapter XII. — The Britons and their king Vortigem, in de- 
spair, invite the heathen nation of the Saxons to help them 
against the Scots and Picts, . . , . . .89 

Chapter XIII. — First arrival of the Saxons — Various reverses 
inflicted and suff'ered on both sides, . . . . .90 

Chapter XIV. — Accession of Dongardus, brother to Eugenius — 
Alliance of Vortigem's son. King Vortimer, then king of the 
Britons, with the Scots against the Saxons — Their struggle for 
Britain, . . . . . . . . .91 

Chapter XV. — Return of the Saxons after Vortimer's death, with 




a greater multitude of the heathens — Death of the British 
chieftains by treachery, . . . . . . .92 

Chapter XVI. — Accession of King Constantius, and the division 
of Britannia, in course of time, among the Saxons, into eight 
kingdoms, ......... 93 

Chapter XVII. — Alliance of Aurelius Ambrosius, king of the 
Britons, with King Constantius, against the Saxons — Merlin 
the Seer, 95 

Chapter XVIII. — Accession of King Congal — Renewal of the 
treaty between the Scots and Britons — Internal strife of the 
Britons, whereby they lose the kingdom, and the Saxons every- 
where prevail, . . . . . . . .96 

Chapter XXI. — Accession of Gonranus — Renewal of the treaty 
with Uther — Saint Brigida, 97 

Chapter XXII. — Gildas the historian — Some metrical prophecies 
of his, 98 

Chapter XXIII. — ^These prophecies continued — Saint Brandan — 
Saint Machutes, 99 

Chapter XXIV. — Death of King Gonranus — Arthur ascends the 
British throne, ........ 101 

Chapter XXV.— Arthur, 102 

Chapter XXVI. — Accession of the three kings, Eugenius, Con- 
vallus, and Kynatel or Connyd — Arrival of Saint Columba, . 103 

Chapter XXVII. — An angel brings Saint Columba down the 
glass book of the consecration of kings — Accession of King 
Aydanus, ......... 104 

Chapter XXVIII. — Aydanus sends assistance to Malgo, king of 
the Britons — ^Victory of the heathens — Parentage of Saint 
Furseus, Saint Foylanus and Saint Vultanus, . . .105 

Chapter XXIX. — This King Aydanus sets out to the assistance 
of Cadwallo, king of the Britons, against the Saxons — 
Issue of the battle — Saint Columba's prophecy about this 
battle — Saint Kentigern and Saint Convallus, . . .106 

Chapter XXX. — This Aydanus is driven from the field by 


Ethelfrid, king of the Northumbrians — Augustine preaches the 
faith to the English, 107 

Chapter XXXI. — Saint Columba's prophecy about the sons of 
Aydanus — His death — Saint Drostanus and his parentage, . 108 

Chaptek XXXII. — Accession of Eugenius, son of Aydanus — 
Saint Gillenius and Saint Columbanus, . . . .109 

Chapter XXXIII. — Cadwallo, king of the Britons, takes to 
flight, and comes to Scotland for assistance — Arrival of Saint 
Oswald, and his brothers baptized there — Burial of the right 
hand and sword of King Eugenius in the stony moor, . .110 

Chapter XXXIV. — Accession of King Ferchardus, and his 
brother Donaldus blessed, while yet a boy, by Saint Columba — 
Return of Saint Oswald to his fatherland, . . . .112 

Chapter XXXV. — Saint Oswald — Saint Aydan chosen to con- 
vert the Saxons, . . . . . . . .113 

Chapter XXXVI. — Preaching of Saint Aydan — Death of the 
holy King Oswald, . . . . . . . .114: 

Chapter XXXVII. — Accession of King Ferchardus — Saint 
Finanus, Saint Furseus, Saint Foilanus and Saint Ultanus, . 115 

Chapter XXXVIII. — Saint Colman — He preaches for three 
years — His return to Scotland, . . . . .116 

Chapter XXXIX. — Number of kings of the Angles whom the 
Scots baptized — Bishops by whom they were baptized, . .117 

Chapter XL. — Accession of King Maldwynus — Bishop Tuda 
succeeds Colman, . . . . . . . .118 

Chapter XLI. — Flight of Cadwaladr, last king of the Britons, 
from Britain — Causes why God cast them out of the kingdom, 119 

Chapter XLII. — These causes continued — Future return of the 
Britons prophesied by an angel — Some of Merlin's prophecies 
on this event, . . . . . . . .121 

Chapter XLIII. — Accession of the kings Eugenius IV. and 
Eugenius V. — Saint Cuthbert — Saint Adamnan, . . .122 

Chapter XLIV. — Accession of King Amrikelleth — His death — 
Saint Chillian, the Scot, and his disciples, . . . .123 



Chapter XLV. — Accession of the kings Eugenius VI. and Mur- 
dacus — State of things in Britain at that time, . . .124 

Chapter XL VI. — Accession of the three kings, Ethfyn, Eugenius 
or Nectanius, and Fergus — Death of the latter by the hand of 
the Queen, 125 

Chapter XLVII. — Accession of Selwalchius — King Charles the 
Great, 126 

Chapter XL VIII. — Accession of King Achay, who first entered 
into an alliance with the Franks : Cause thereof — The distin- 
guished soldier Gilmerius the Scot, . . . . .127 

Chapter XLIX. — Ambassadors of the Scots sent to Charles, to 
confirm this alliance, . . . . . . .128 

Chapter L. — Heinous treachery of the Northumbrians towards 
their kings, so that none durst rule them, . . . .129 

Chapter LI. — Rise of the Paris schools. By whom established, 130 

Chapter LIII. — Accession of the kings Convallus and Dun- 
gallus, who revived the long slumbering war against the Picts, 132 


Chapter T. — Rule of succession of foregoing and subsequent kings 

of the Scots, down to the time of Malcolm, the son of Kenneth, 134 
Chapter II. — Accession of King Alpin — His defeat by the Picts 

— His death — Example of hastiness, 135 

Chapter III. — Accession of King Kenneth, son of Alpin — His 

strange trick against the Picts, . . . . . .139 

Chapter IV. — His victories against the Picts — He wins their 

kingdom, ......... 137 

Chapter VIII. — King Kenneth's final victory over the Picts — 

His death, 139 

Chapter IX. — Preliminary remarks to the Catalogue of Pictish 

kings, . . . . . . . . . .140 

Chapter X. — Catalogue of Pictish kings — Arrival of the blessed 

Abbot Columba, 141 



Chapter XI. — Catalogue continued — Conversion of Brude, king 

of the Picts, by the blessed Columba — Prince of the Orkneys then 

a captive, ......... 142 

Chapter XII. — Catalogue continued — The king with whom the 

Pictish kingdojn came to an end, . . . . . .143 

Chapter XIII. — Hungus, king of the Picts, and Athelwlf, king 

of the Angles, were contemporaries — Athelstan, the son of the 

latter, 144 

Chapter XIV. — Victory of Hungus, king of the Picts, over 

Athelstan ; whose head he directed to be fixed on a stake, . 146 
Chapter XV. — Accession of the kings Donald, son of Alpin, and 

Constantine, son of Kenneth — Death of Donald, . . .147 
Chapter XVI. — Constantine slain by Danes and Norwegians — 

Accession of King Heth, the Wing-footed, . . . .148 

Chapter XVII. — Accession of King Gregory, who brings under 

his yoke the whole of Ireland, and nearly the whole of England, 149 
Chapter XVIII. — Gregory — His death — Martyrdom of the 

blessed King Edmund — Nearly the whole of England at that 

time subject to the Scots and Danes, 151 

Chapter XIX. — John Scotus, the Philosopher — The Emperor 

Arnulph, who was eaten up by lice, 152 

Chapter XX. — Accession of King Donald, son of Constantine — 

His death, 153 

Chapter XXI. — Accession of King Constantine, son of Heth, 

the Wing-footed — He gives the lordship of Cumbria to 

Donald's son, Eugenius, his expected next heir, . . .154 

Chapter XXII. — Constantine — Woeful and cruel battle of 

Brounyngfeld, . . . . . . . .156 

Chapter XXIII. — Loss inflicted upon the Scots by this battle 

— ^Death of Constantine in the monastic garb, . . .157 
Chapter XXIV.; — Accession of King Malcolm, son of Donald — 

The English King Edmund restores Cumbria to him, . .158 

Chapter XXV. — ^Death of Malcolm — Accession ofKinglndulf — 

He is slain by the Danes, 159 

VOL. II. & 



Chapter XXVI. — Accession of King Duff — After his death, his 
body is hidden under a bridge ; and not a ray of sunlight shines 
on the kingdom until it is found, . . . . .160 

Chapter XXVII. — Accession of King Culen — His death — 
Fable given in the English Chronicles, . . . .161 

Chapter XXVIII. — Accession of Kenneth, son of Malcolm — 
Divers disputes — Unsteadiness in the rule of succession of the 
emperors as well as of kings, . . . . • .163 

Chapter XXIX, — Kenneth — Novel change in the rule of succes- 
sion of the emperors and of the kings of Scotland, . .164 

Chapter XXXII. — Strange instrument of treason to deceive 
King Kenneth — A wily woman's flattery, . . . .165 

Chapter XXXIII. — Kenneth's death by treachery — His son 
Malcolm promoted to the lordship of Cumbria, . . .167 

Chapter XXXIV. — ^Accession of the kings Canstantine the Bald 
and Gry me, son of Kenneth, . . . . . .168 

Chapter XXXV. — The above-mentioned Prince of Cumbria, 
Malcolm, son of Kenneth, will not, on behalf of the Cumbrians, 
pay tribute to the Danes, as the rest of the inhabitants of 
England do, 169 

Chapter XXXVI. — Condition of the English as set forth in the 
Polychronicon — A certain prophecy, . . . . .170 

Chapter XXXVII. — Source of the calamities brought upon the 
English by the Danes, who, according to William, repeatedly 
lay England waste in all directions, . . . . .171 

Chapter XXXVIII. — King Gryme slain by the above-mentioned 
Malcolm, son of Kenneth, . . . . , .172 

Chapter XXXIX. — Accession of this King Malcolm — His 
daughter Beatrice marries Crynyne, Abthane of Dul, . .173 

Chapter XL. — Malcolm — Foundation of a bishopric at Mar- 
thillach, now transferred to Aberdeen, . . . .175 

Chapter XLL— Struggle of King Malcolm for Cumbria with 
Cnuto the Dane, then king of England — His death, . .176 

Chapter XLIII. — King Malcolm's liberality, or, rather, prodi- 



gality ; for he retained for himself no part of the kingdom 
but the Moothill of Scone, 177 

Chapter XLIV. — Accession of King Duncan, grandson of the 
above-mentioned Malcolm — His death — »He was too long- 
suffering or easy-going, . . . . . . .179 

Chapter XLV. — Accession of King Machabeus — King Duncan's 
sons driven out of the kingdom into England, * . .180 

Chapter XLVI. — Outlawry of the Thane of Fife, Macduff by 
name, on account of the friendship he bore towards Duncan's 
sons, Malcolm, called Canmore, and Donald, . . .181 

Chapter XL VII. — First arrival of Malcolm Canmore at the Court 
of Edward King of England — Marianus Scotus, . . .183 


Chapter I. — Macduff urges Malcolm Canmore to return to the 
kingdom — The latter, to try whether he was in good faith or 
was deceiving him, falsely asserts that he is sensual, . .184 

Chapter IT. — Malcolm adduces various instances of kings having 
lost their kingdoms through sensuality, • . . . .185 

Chapter III. — Macduff, in answer, adduces the instance of the 
Emperor Octavian, who was sensual, yet most happy, . .186 

Chapter IV. — Malcolm tries him a second time, by asserting 
himself to be a thief — Macduff answers by laying down the 
remedy for this vice, . . . . . . . 187 

Chapter V. — Malcolm tries him a third time, by confessing that 
he is most false and cunning — Macduff can find no remedy for 
this fault, and retires in sorrow, . . . . .189 

Chapter VI. — Malcolm, now assured of his good faith, promises 
to return to the kingdom with him, . . . . .190 

Chapter VII. — Malcolm's return to Scotland — Machabeus falls 
in battle, 191 

Chapter VIII. — The author makes allowance for the people 



of any kingdom deserting an unlawful king in battle — Lulath 

is raised to the throne — His death, . . . . .193 

Chapter IX. — Accession of King Malcolm to the kingdom — 
He fights with a traitor, . . . . . . .194 

Chapter X. — T^ie fight — The trait;or is worsted, . . .195 

Chapter XI. — Death of Edward, king of the English — The 
nobles would have made the blessed Margaret's brother, Edward, 
king, had the clergy consented — Vision of Saint Edward, . 196 

Chapter XII. — How William the Bastard's coming to England 
was brought about — Saint Patemus the Scot, . . .198 

Chapter XIII. — ^Wretched and treacherous lives led by the 
English before William's arrival, . . . . .199 

Chapter XIV. — Happily for the Scots, Edgar Atheling and his 
sister Margaret, afterwards Queen of the Scots, land in Scot- 
land, 200 

Chapter XV. — King Malcolm weds Saint Margaret — He gladly 
welcomes all English fugitives, . . . , . .202 

Chapter XVI. — The sons and daughters he begat of Margaret 
— Ravages he commits in England, . , . . 203 

Chapter XVII. — The Northumbrians give hostages to King 
Malcolm, and cleave to him — He routs William's brother Odo, 204 

Chapter XVIII. — Virtuous and charitable works of King Mal- 
colm and the Queen, ....... 205 

Chapter XIX. — Death of William the Bastard — He could not 
go to his grave without challenge — Good understanding come 
to between William Rufus, the son of William, and Malcolm — 
Virtues of Malcolm and his Queen, ..... 206 

Chapter XX. — Foundation of the Church of Durham by Mal- 
colm — Siege of the Castle of Murealden by the same — He and 
his son slain there, ........ 208 

Chapter XXI. — Death of Saint Margaret — Siege of the Castle of 
Maidens by Donald the king's brother, who invades the king- 
dom — Flight of the king's sons out of the kingdom, . . 209 

Chapter XXII. — An Englishman, Orgar by name, challenges 



Edgar Atheling to single comliat for treason against King 
William II, 210 

Chaptek XXIII Duel — The challenger is slain by Godwin of 

Winton, . . .211 

Chaptek XXIV. — Duncan, Malcolm's illegitimate son, wrests the 
kingdom from his uncle Donald — His death — Donald recovers 
the kingdom — The King of Norway takes possession of our isles, 213 

Chapter XXV. — Return of Malcolm's sons from England — 
Flight of Donald from battle, 214 

Chapter XXVI. — Accession of King Edgar, Malcolm's son, to 
the throne — Donations made to Saint Cuthbert, . . .215 

C hapter XXVII. — Marriage of Edgar's sisters, Matilda to Henry, 
King of England, and Mary to Eustace, Count of Boulogne — 
Their sons and daughters — Edgar's death, . . . .216 

Chapter XXVIII. — Accession of his brother Alexander, sur- 
named Fers — His character, . . . . . .217 

Chapter XXIX. — Death of his sisters, namely. Queen Matilda 
and the Countess Mary — Their holy acts — Their burial, . 218 

Chapter XXX. — Praise of the virtues of that Queen Matilda ; 
of one good work especially, told by her brother, King David, to 
the Abbot Baldred, 220 

Chapter XXXI. — Accession of the blessed King David — Praise 
of him and his brothers — He weds Matilda, daughter and 
heiress of Waldeof, Earl of Huntingdon, . . . .221 

Chapter XXXII. — War waged by King David against Stephen, 
King of England — Conquest of Northumbria and Cumbria by 
a battle fought at Allerton, 222 

Chapter XXXIII. — David's son, Henry, weds Ada, daughter of 
WiUiam, Earl of Warenne — Their sons and daughters, and to 
whom the latter were wedded — Henry's death, . . .223 

Chapter XXXIV. — King David bids his grandson Malcolm, 
Henry's son, be taken about through the kingdom, and pro- 
claimed as the future King — David's death to be bewailed, not 
on his own account, but for the Scots, . . . .225 



Chapter XXXV. — Preface to tlie Abbot Baldred's Lament on 
King David's death — Praise of Henry, King of England, for- 
asmuch as King David sprang from his family, and was knighted 
by him, ......... 226 

Chapter XXXVI. — Beginning of the Lament, for all his people 
had reason to bewail him, . . . . . .227 

Chapter XXXVII. — Lament continued — He was beloved by 
God and man, and undertook the sovereignty, rather because of 
others' need than through lust of power, . . . .228 

Chapter XXXVIII. — Lament continued — Bishoprics and Monas- 
teries founded and endowed by him, 230 

Chapter XXXIX. — La.ment continued — He was the comforter 
of the sorrowing and the father of the fatherless, . . .231 

Chapter XL. — Lament, continued — He was always anxious to 
bring back to peace and concord those at variance, especially 
wrangling, clergy, . . . . . . . .232 

Chapter XLI. — Lament continued — He would have resigned 
the throne, and betaken himself to the spot where our Lord 
suffered, had he not been turned back by the advice of church- 
men, the tears of the poor, the groans of the widow, the 
desolation of the people, and the crying and wailing of the 
whole country, ........ 233 

Chapter XLII. — Lament continued — God scourged him in his 
son's death — His God and Lord found him watching, . . 235 

Chapter XLIII. — Lament continued — His time was all taken 
up with prayer, alms, or some seemly task, . . .236 

Chapter XLIV. — Lament continued — The trials of the English 
taught the Scots to be faithful to their kings, and preserve 
mutual harmony among themselves, . . . . .237 

Chapter XLV. — Lament continued — On Wednesday, the 20th 
of May, he perceived that his dissolution was at hand ; and 
having taken the Sacrament of the Lord's body, he bade them 
bring forward the Lord's cross, 238 

Chapter XLVI. — Lament continued — His extreme unction — He 



threw himself off the bed upon the ground and took that Sacra- 
ment with great devoutness, . . . . . .239 

Chapter XL VII. — Lament continued — In his very sickness, 
when his life was at stake, he remembered the poor, and asked 
the cleric, his secretary, whether he had dispensed the usual 
alms that day, . . . . . . . .241 

Chapter XL VIII. — Lament continued — He went on praying 
while singing psalms, . . . . . . .242 

Chapter XLIX. — Lament continued — On Sunday, the 24th of 
May, when the sun had dispelled the darkness, the King, taking 
leave of the darkness of the body, passed into the joys of the 
true light, 243 

Chapter L. — His pedigree traced on the father's side up to 
Japhet, son of Noah, . . . . . . .244 

Chapter LI. — Prologue to his pedigree on his mother's side, . 247 

Chapter LII. — His pedigree on the mother's side traced, accord- 
ing to Baldred, as far as Shem, son of Koah ; and from him to 
Seth, son of Adam, who is the father of all, . . .247 


I. Coronation of King Malcolm the younger. Prince 

Henry's son, called " the Maiden," . . .249 

VII. Coronation of King William, . . . . .254 

XI. King William taken, 258 

XX. King William released from fealty to England, . .267 

XXIX. Coronation of King Alexander ii. at Scone, . .275 

XLVL Death of this King Alexander il, . . . .288 

XL VIII. Coronation of King Alexander iii. at Scone, . .289 

LXVII. Betrothal of Yolande, daughter of the Count of Dreux, 

in France, to Alexander iii.. King of Scots — This 

King's death, 304 

LXVIII. Beginning of the government of the Guardians after 

King Alexander's death, . . , , .305 



LXX. Discussion of the rights of Robert of Bruce and 

John of Balliol, 306 

LXXIII. Account, or Pedigree of the Kings of Scotland, . 309 
LXXV. King William's brother David, Earl of Huntingdon, 310 
LXXVI. Earl David's daughter Isabella, who wedded Robert 

of Bruce, . . . . . . .311 

LXXVII. Issue of King Robert Bruce by his first wife, . 311 

LXXVIII. That King's issue by his second wife, . . .312 

LXXIX. Death of John of BaUiol, 312 

LXXX. Daughters of King Malcolm and Saint Margaret ; 
and the degree of kinship between David and 
Edward, the Kings of Scotland and of England, 312 
LXXXI. Guardians of the kingdom chosen after the death 

of King Alexander in., . . . . .313 

LXXXII. Slaughter of Duncan, Earl of Fife, . . .313 
LXXXIII. Marriage to be contracted between the son of the 
King of England and Margaret, daughter of the 
King of Norway, . . . . , .314 

LXXXIV. Dispute which arose between Robert Bruce and 

John of Balliol, 314 

LXXXV. John of Balliol created King of Scotland, . .315 
LXXXVI. Steps which led to the deprivation of the same, . 316 
LXXXVII. The King of England has the King of Scotland 

cited to the Marches, etc., . . . .316 
LXXXVIII. The King of England beguiles the first Robert of 

Bruce with smooth words, . . . .316 
LXXXIX. The nobles of Fife sent to guard the town of Ber- 
wick — Their death, 317 

XC. Taking of the town of Berwick by Edward i., King 

of England, 317 

XCI. Expulsion of the English from the kingdom of 

Scotland, . . ... . . .318 

XCII. Battle of Dunbar, 318 

XCIII. Abettors of John of Balliol and Robert Bruce, . 319 



XCIV. Answers given by the King of England to the first 

Eobert Bruce, ....... 319 

XCV. John of Balliol and his son Edward taken, . 320 

XCVI. The Estates of Scotland do homage to the King of 

England, 320 

XCVII. The Magnates of Scotland meet together to guard the 

kingdom, ....... 321 

XCVIII. Rise and first start of WiUiam Wallace, . . .321 

XCIX. Battle of Stirling Bridge, 322 

C. William Wallace winters in England, . . .322 

CI. Battle of Falkbk, 323 

CII. WiUiam Wallace resigns the office of Guardian, . .324 
cm. John Comyn becomes Guardian of Scotland, . .324 

CIV. Truce granted at the instance of the King of France, 

to the Estates of the kingdom of Scotland, . .324 

GV. John de Soulis, 325 

CVI. The King of England sunomoned to the Court of 

Rome, 325 

CVII. Conflict of Roslyn, 325 

CIX. The King of England scours the plains and hills, and 
brings the kingdom of Scotland under peaceful sub- 
jection to himself, . . . . . .328 

ex. The Estates of Scotland make their submission to the 

King of England, 329 

CXI. Stirling Castle besieged by the King of England, .329 
CXII. Rise of Robert of Bruce, King of Scotland, . . 330 
CXIII. League of King Robert with John Comyn, . .330 

CXIV. King Robert accused before the King of England, by 

John Comyn, ....... 331 

CXV. Death of John Comyn's messenger, . . .332 

CXVI. Death of William Wallace, 332 

CXVII. John Comyn's death, . . . . . .332 

CXVIII. Coronation of King Robert Bruce, 333 

CXIX. Battle of Methven, 334 



CXX. Conflict at Dairy, in the borders of Argyll, . .334 
CXXI. Sundry troubles which fell upon King Kobert, . 335 

CXXII. Rout at Slenach (Slaines), 336 

CXXIII. Death of King Edward L, King of England, . .336 

CXXIV. Rout at Inverury, 337 

CXXV. Victory over the Gallwegians, at the river Dee, . 337 

CXXVI. Conflict of King Robert with the men of Argyll, .338 

CXXIX. The town of Perth taken by King Robert, . .338 

CXXX. Roxburgh Castle taken by James of Douglas, . 339 

CXXXI. Conflict at Bannockburn, 339 

CXXXII. Edward crosses into Ireland, . . . .340 

CXXXIII. The town of Berwick taken, . . . .340 

CXXXIV. Berwick besieged by the King of England, . . 340 

CXXXV. Treachery of John of Soulis and his adherents, . 341 

CXXXVII. The King of Scotland crosses into England, and the 

King of England into Scotland, . . .341 

CXXXVIII. Ambassadors sent by the King of Scotland to the 

Pope and the King of France, . . . .343 

CXXXIX. The Queen of England brings hired soldiers into 

England, 343 

CXL. Messengers sent to the King of Scotland by the 

English, 344 

CXLII. Espousal of King David — Death of William of Lam- 

berton. Bishop of St. Andrews, . . .345 

CXLIII. Death of King Robert of Biiice, . . .345 

CXLIV. Death of James of Douglas, . . . .345 

CXLV. Coronation of King David, . . . .346 

CXLVI. Battle of Dupplin, 346 

CXLVII. Edward of Balliol made King at Scone, . . 347 

CXLVIII. The town of Perth taken— Battle of Annan, . . 347 

CXLIX. Conflict at Halidon, 348 

CL. Dispute between Edward of Balliol and Henry of 

Beaumont, and David, Earl of Athole, . .349 
CLL Messengers of the King of France, . . .350 



CLII. The King of England comes to Perth with Edward 

ofBalliol, 350 

CLIII. John Eaii of Moray taken, . . . .350 

CLIV. Death of the Earl of Athol at Kilblen, . . .351 

CLV. The King of England and Edward of Balliol arrive 

at Perth, 352 

CLVI. Andrew of Moray, 353 

CLVII. Andrew of Moray besieges Strivelyn (Stirling) Castle, 354 

CLVIII. Death of Andrew of Moray, . . . .354 

CLIX. The town of Perth besieged and taken, . . .355 

CLXI. Roxburgh Castle taken by Alexander Ramsay, . 356 

CLXII. Death of this Alexander, 357 

CLXV. Battle of Durham fought, 358 

CLXVI. Robert Stewart, Guardian of Scotland, . .358 

CLXVII. Pestilence among men, . . . . .359 

CLXVIII. Death of the Lord David of Berclay, . . .359 

CLXIX. Matilda of Bruce and her offspring, . . . 3G0 

CLXX. Death of the Lord William of Douglas, . .360 

CLXXI. Messengers sent by the King of France to the 

Nobles of Scotland, . . . . . .360 

CLXXIL Conflict at Nesbit, 361 

CLXXIIT. Thomas Stewart, Earl of Angus, makes an attempt 

upon the town of Berwick, , . . . 362 
CLXXIV. The town of Berwick is surrendered to the King of 

England, 362 

CLXXV. Edward of Balliol comes to meet the King of 

England at Roxburgh, . . . . .363 

CLXXVL The King of England comes to Scotland, . .363 

CLXXVII. Conflict which took place at Poitiers, in France, . 365 

CLXXVIII. Release of our Lord King David, King of Scotland, 366 

CLXXIX Great flood of waters, 367 

CLXXX. King David begs a tenth from the Sovereign Pontiff, 367 

CLXXXI. The King of England crosses into France, . .368 

CLXXXIL The King of France in England is released, . .368 

^:f^'- i 



CLXXXIII. Second pestilence, 369 

CLXXXIV. Plot against King David, 369 

CLXXXV. Second espousals of King David, . . . .370 


List of Authorities referred to by name by Fordun, . .375 

Notes to Book i., 379 

Notes to Book n., 385 

Notes to Book iii., 393 

Table of Dalriadic Kings, 503-850, . . . .403 

Notes to Book iv., 404 

Tableof Scottish Kings, 850-1034, . . . .421 

Notes to Book v., 422 

Notes to Annals, ....... 427 

Table of Descendants of Malcolm Canmore and Saint Mar- 
garet, 439 


Tribe Communities in Scotland, 441 

INDEX, 461 

MAP OF SCOTLAND prior to 1034 to face Historical Intro- 


In order not to delay the circulation of this 
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tained in the 7text Volume of the Series, but 
Subscribers who wish to have it separately 
will please co7mmmicate with the Publishers, 
when it will be sent as soon as it is ready. 



Amid so mucli that is mythic, uncertain, or matter 
of controversy, in the early history of Scotland, it may be 
held as unquestionable that the Scots, from whom the 
country took its name, had their original seat in Ireland, 
from whence they migrated to Scotland ; and that a line 
of kings of Scottish race ruled in this country from the 
middle of the ninth to the early part of the eleventh 
centuries. The era of the establishment of this Scottish 
dynasty was the year 850, and it t^-^minated, by the 
death of the last king of Scottish race, ^a the year 1034. 

It is under this line of Scottish kings that we can 
trace the rise and gradual formation of the Scottish 
monarchy, and that we find the first appearance of those 
ancient chronicles professing to give the succession, and 
chronology, of the earlier kings, supposed to have reigned 
in Scotland prior to the establishment of this dynasty. 

The direct rule of this line of kings of Scottish 
descent, and the main seat of their government, was con- 
fined to the districts extending from the Firth of Forth 
to the river Spey. Beyond the river Spey, on the north, 
lay the extensive district termed Moravia, comprehend- 
ing the modern counties of Elgin, Nairn, Inverness, and 


the eastern part of Eoss-shire. On the west, and 
separated from these districts by the great chain of 
Drumalban or the backbone of Scotland, was Ergadia, 
Ea7'ragaidhel or Argyle, extending from the Firth of 
Clyde and Loch Long in the south to the point of 
Coigeach and Loch Enard in the north-west corner of 
Eoss-shire, and forming the western seaboard of Scotland. 
Over these districts, the kings of this race may have had 
a nominal sway, but they do not seem to have been 
incorporated with their proper kingdom. The districts 
lying to the south of this kingdom consisted, on the 
west, of the kingdom of Cumbria or Strathclyde, ex- 
tending from the Firth of Clyde to the river Derwent 
in Cumberland, and on the east, of the northern parts of 
Northumbria, which, from the Firth of Forth to the 
river Tweed, bore the name of Lodoneia or Lothian. 

The first four kings of this race,^ viz., Kenneth mac 
Alpin, the founder of the dynasty, his brother, and his two 
sons, though of Scottish descent, are termed in the Irish 
Annals *Eeges Pictorum,' and, in the oldest chronicle, the 
districts under their direct rule are termed 'Pictavia.' 
There is then a break in the line, when Eocha, the son 
of Eun, king of the Britons of Strathclyde, and grandson 
of Kenneth by a daughter, reigns jointly along with Grig, 
whose descent is unknown. The male line is again esta- 
blished in the person of Donald, a grandson of Kenneth 
by his eldest son, and the remaining kings of this dynasty 
are termed in the Irish Annals * Ei Albain,' the Irish 
equivalent of * Eeges Albanise/ while, in the same chro- 

^ A table of the kings of this Scottish dynasty will be found in the 
Notes, p. 421. 


nicle, the name of Albania is now applied to their king- 
dom. Under Constantine, the second of the kings 
termed ' Ki Alban/ his brother was elected king of 
Cumbria, which placed the Scottish race on the throne 
of that British kingdom ; and upon Malcolm, his suc- 
cessor, the kingdom of Cumbria or Strathclyde was 
bestowed in 946, by Edmund, king of Wessex, who 
had conquered it in that year. His successor, Indulph, 
added the district extending from Stirling to Edinburgh. 

Kenneth, the son of Malcolm, who reigned from 971 
to 995, is said by some of the English historians to have 
acquired Lothian, but the statement is of doubtful 
authority. In his reign, however, was compiled the 
oldest of the Chronicles we now possess, viz., that 
usually termed the Pictish Chronicle. 

His son Malcolm was the last king of this race. He 
reigned from 1004 to 1034, and he certainly acquired 
from Eadulf Cudel, Earl of Northumbria, as the result of 
a battle fought in 1018, the northern districts of that 
Earldom, comprehended under the names of Lodoneia 
and Tevethdale, or Lothian and Teviotdale. In his reign, 
between the years 1014 and 1023, was compiled the 
Synchronisms of Flann Mainistrech or Flann the Fer- 
leighin of the monastery called Mainister Boice, who died 
in 1056. This work contains a list of the kings of 
Ireland, synchronized with tie provincial kings, and 
with those of foreign countries, and among them are the 
kings who ruled in Scotland. In the same reign was 
born, in the year 1028, the chronicler Marianus Scotus, 
who was thus almost a contemporary writer, and he 


terms Malcolm ^rex Scotiae.'^ He was thus the first 
king to whom this title was applied ; and the districts 
which formed his kingdom proper, and which had 
previously been termed, first, Pictavia, and afterwards 
Albania, now usually appear under the designation of 
' Albania, quae modo Scotia vocatur/ They are how- 
ever still distinguished from Moravia, on the north, 
Ergadia or Argyle on the west, and Lothian and 
Cumbria, or Strathclyde, on the south. 

Malcolm was thus the first king who bears the title 
of ' rex Scotise/ Prior to his reign, the name of Scotia 
had not been applied to the whole, or to any part, of 
the kingdom of Scotland, but was held to belong exclu- 
sively to Ireland. 

Fordun is probably reporting a genuine tradition 
when he states that, towards the end of this dynasty, an 
alteration had been made in the law of succession. The 
succession to the throne had hitherto been regulated by 
the Irish law of tanistry, which limited it strictly to 
males, and preferred even an illegitimate male to a 
female. By this law, the senior male capable of ruling 
was chosen in preference to the direct descendant, 
a rule which placed brothers on the throne before sons, 
and it appears to have assumed a form not unusual in 
Ireland, where the succession was vested in two families, 
and passed alternately from the one to the other. 
These families were descended from the two sons of 
Kenneth mac Alpin, the founder of the dynasty, as we]] 
as its first king. An attempt seems to have been 

^ A.D. 1034, Moelcoluim Rex ScotisD obiit 7 kal. Decembr. — Chron. Picts 
and Scots, p. 65. 


made, after the death of the second of his two sons, to 
introduce the son of a sister, even though of a different 
race (Eocha son of Eun, king of the Britons of Strath- 
clyde by the daughter of Kenneth), according to the 
Pictish law of succession, which preferred the sons of 
sisters in preference to the brothers' sons ; but after his 
reign the male line was firmly established by the acces- 
sion of Donald, followed by Constantin, the grandsons 
of Kenneth by his two sons. Fordun states that this 
old law of succession lasted till the time of Malcolm, the 
last king of the race, " when, for fear of the dismem- 
berment of the kingdom, which might perhaps result 
therefrom, that king, by a general ordinance, decreed, as 
a law for ever, that thenceforth each king, after his 
death, should be succeeded in the government of the 
kingdom by whoever was, at the time being, the next 
descendant, that is, a son or a daughter, a nephew or a 
niece, the nearest then living. Failing these, however, 
the next heir begotten of the royal or collateral stock 
should possess the right of inheritance."^ If such an 
alteration ever were formally made, it was in fact a sub- 
stitution of the Teutonic for the Celtic law of succession, 
and the increasing influence of Saxon institutions, or 
the anticipation of a failure of the dynasty in the male 
line, may have led to its introduction. Malcolm was 
the last king of this line, and appears to have been 
the last legitimate male descendant of Kenneth mac 
Alpin, the founder of the dynasty ; and the recent ac- 
quisition of Lothian with its Saxon population may have 
rendered such an alteration necessary, as the only means 

^ B. iv. cap. 1. 
VOL. n. e 


of maintaining the integrity of the kingdom. He had 
two daughters, one married to Crinan, the lay abbot of 
Dunkeld, by whom she had a son, Duncan ; the other to 
Sigurd, the Norwegian Earl of Orkney, by whom she had 
a son Thorfinn, afterwards Earl of Orkney. On his death, 
Malcolm was succeeded by his grandson Duncan; but 
a war immediately arose between him and Thorfinn, 
who probably claimed half the kingdom in right of his 
mother. This war ended in the establishment of the 
power 'of Thorfinn over the northern provinces, which he 
maintained for thirty years, and in the death of Duncan, 
who was slain in 1040 by Macbeth, who succeeded him 
on the throne of Scotland, and reigned seventeen years. 
Marianus Scotus, a contemporary writer, calls Macbeth 
the commander of Duncan s troops {pcciditur a duce suo 
Macbethad)j but it appears, from the Irish Annals, that 
he was of the race of the Celtic Mormaers of Moray, one 
of the provinces subjected by Thorfinn. It is probable, 
therefore, that he had committed this act of treachery in 
Thorfinn's interest, and was placed by him on the throne 
of the southern half of the kingdom. Cumbria and 
Lothian with their British and Anglic populations no 
doubt adhered to the fortunes of the family of Duncan, 
and an invasion of Scotland by Siward the Earl of 
Northumbria in 1054 prepared the way for the accession 
of Malcolm, the eldest son of Duncan, who, four years 
afterwards, drove out and slew Macbeth, and his succes- 
sor Lulach, a member of the same family. 

Malcolm, surnamed Canmore, reigned thirty-five 
years, from 1058 to 1093. His kingdom was nearly 
CO -extensive with the modern kingdom of Scotland, and 
he seems, during his reign, to have maintained his power 


over all the different races which formed its population. 
This probably resulted from the peculiar advantages 
which he possessed, and from the union in his person 
of qualities, which commended to each his claim to the 
throne. His pedigree in the male line cannot be pushed 
further back than his grandfather Crinan, but there are 
indications that Crinan was of Cumbrian descent, while 
his position as abbot of Dunkeld must have secured 
for his descendants the powerful support of the Church. 
Through his grandmother, Malcolm represented the 
Scottish line of kings. Through his mother, who was 
a sister of Siward Earl of Northumberland, he was 
connected with those powerful Earls, and soon after 
his accession he married Ingibiorg, widow of Thorfinn 
Earl of Orkney, which must have conciliated the Nor- 
wegian population of the north, while his second wife 
was Margaret, the sister of Edgar ^theling, the last 
scion of the Saxon royal family. There is little indica- 
tion, therefore, of discontent on the part of any of the 
different races under his rule. His reign adds some 
further documents throwing light on the earlier history 
of Scotland. In the early paii: of his reign, in the year 
1072, died Gillacaemhan, who translated the Latin work 
of Nennius into Irish, and made considerable additions 
to it, taken from both Irish and Pictish sources. He 
is also, in all probability, the author of the historical 
poem usually termed the Albanic Duan, which bears to 
have been compiled while Malcolm was king.^ Towards 

^ Maolcoluim is now the king, 
Son of Bonnchad, the florid, of lively visage, 
His duration knoweth no man 
But the wise one, the most wise. 

Chron. Picts and Scots, p. G3. 


the end of his reign, in the year 1088, died Tighernach 
of Cloinmacnois, compiler of the Irish Annals which 
bear his name, and which contain a number of notices, 
of the highest interest, of events which took place in 

These five historical documents, viz., the Pictish 
Chronicle, and the Synchronisms of Flann Mainistrech, 
which belong to the period when the Scottish djrnasty 
still reigned in Scotland; and the Irish and Pictish 
additions to Nennius, the Albanic Duan and the Annals 
of Tighernac, which belong to the reign of Malcolm 
Canmore, form the first group of authorities for the 
early history of Scotland. They are entirely consistent 
and in perfect harmony with each other. The same 
chronology runs through the whole, and they stand apart, 
and far above all other chronicles in authority, — first, 
from their superior antiquity ; secondly, because they 
emerge from the native races themselves, whose early 
annals they profess to give ; and thirdly, because they 
were compiled before any of those controversies, whether 
secular or ecclesiastic, arose, which, like all controversies 
involving matters of national or clerical interest, in 
which the patriotic feelings of the country or the 
ambition of ecclesiastical parties are enlisted, led to 
the falsification of records and to the perversion of 

What then do these ancient documents tell us of the 
history of the country prior to the establishment of the 
Scottish dynasty under Kenneth mac Alpin ? 

The Pictish Chronicle,^ after a preface consisting in 
the main of extracts from Isidore of Seville, and after 

* Chron. Picts and ScotSy No. i. p. .3. 


stating that the Scots and Picts derive their origin from a 
Scythian people mentioned by Isidore, termed Albani, 
gives a long line of Pictish monarchs from '' Cruidne 
filius Cinge, pater Pictorum habitantium in hac insula " 
to "Bred/^ whose successor is *'Cinadius filius Alpini" 
and one of the additions in the Irish Nennius contains 
the same list.^ Cruidne, who is evidently the eponymus 
of the Picts, the Irish or Gaelic equivalent for whom is 
Cruithne, is said to have had seven sons, whose names 
are given. An ancient stanza, quoted in the Irish Nen- 
nius, and attributed to St. Columba, states that Alban was 
divided by these seven sons into seven provinces, and that 
the name of each man was given to his territory. Five 
of them can still be identified, viz., Caithness, the Mearns, 
Fife, Stratherne, and AthoU, so that the Pictish king- 
dom, whose ancient kings are here given, must have 
extended from Caithness in the north to the Firth of 
Forth in the south, as is indeed expressed in an old 
poem contained in the Irish Nennius,^ and from the 
German Ocean on the east to the range of hills which 
forms the western boundary of Atholl and divides it 
from Argyle, and was known by the name of " Dorsum 
Britanniae " or Drumalhan, on the west. 

The Synchronisms of Flann Mainistrech ^ state, on the 

1 Chron. Picts and Scots, No. v. B. p. 24. 

2 From thence they possessed Alban, 
The noble nurse of fruitfulness. 
Jl' Without destroying the people, 

From the region of Cath to Forcu. 

And again — 

Thus did they possess Alban 
Noble, gentle-hilled, smooth surfaced 
To many Amlaebhs, 
To Cinaeth mac Alpin. — Ibid. p. 43. 
3 Ibid. No. iv. p. 18. 


other hand, that twenty years after the battle of Ocha, 
"the children of Ere, son of Eochaidh' Muindremhair, 
passed over (from Ireland) into Alban or Scotland, — 
viz., the six sons of Ere, two Anguses, two Lorns and 
two Ferguses." The battle of Ocha was fought either in 
478 or 483, and this gives either 498 or 503 as the date 
of this colony from Ireland. The Irish Nennins^ and 
the Albanic Duan^ state that Britus, the eponymus of 
the Britons, and Albanus his brother, first possessed 
Alban — that then came a colony called the Clan Nemh- 
idh — then the Cruithnigh or Picts — and then the sons 
of Ere, son of Eachach ; and Tighernac has under the 
year 501, "Feargus mor, the son of Earca, held part of 
Britain with the people of Dalriada, and died there.'' ^ All 
these authorities therefore agree that, about the end of 
the fifth or beginning of the sixth century, a colony from 
Ireland, termed the * gens Dalriada,' settled in Alban or 
Scotland under the sons of Ere, son of Eachach. 

Flann Mainistrech and the Albanic Duan give a list 
of the kings of this colony, extending from Fergus son 
of Ere, the founder of this kingdom, to Eoganan, son of 
Angus, the last king, who is immediately succeeded by 
Kenneth mac Alpin. The boundaries of their kingdom 
can be pretty well ascertained from the statements of two 
writers whose works were compiled while it still existed. 
Adomnan, who died in 704, states in his Life of Saint 
Columba that the Scots of Dalriada were separated from 
the Picts by the ' Dorsi montes Britannici,' which exactly 

* Chrorw Picts and Scots, p. 32. 
2 Jhid. No. vL p. 67. 

^ Feargus Mor mac Earca cum gente Dalraida partem BritannisB tenuit et 
ibi mortuus est. — Jbid. p. 66. 


corresponds witli what we gather from the Pictish Chro- 
nicle and the Irish Nennius ; the chain of hills which 
separates Perthshire from Argyllshire, and divides the 
eastern from the western waters, being thus the western 
boundary of the one population, and the eastern boundary 
of the other. The Firth of Clyde was their southern 
boundary; for Bede in describing this Firth says that 
it formerly divided the nation of the Picts from the 
Britons, but that the Scots arriving on the north side 
of this bay settled themselves there. ^ The northern 
boundary is more dijfficult to ascertain. We gather, 
from Adomnan, that the inhabitants of Lochaber were 
Pictish, and Bede says that lona was given to Saint 
Columba by the Picts who inhabited the neighbouring 
districts, while Tighernac states, as distinctly, that lona 
was given to him by the Scottish king of Dalriada. It 
is probable that the actual kingdom of Dalriada was 
bounded on the north by the Linnhe loch ; for the only 
districts mentioned in the Irish annals, as under their rule, 
are Lorn, Cantire, Cowall, and the island of Islay ; but 
there is reason to believe that the tribe of Lorn occupied 
part of the district of Morvern, and this district, with the 
island of Mull, to which lona belongs, may have been a 
sort of debateable land between the Picts and Scots, and 
have been partly occupied by both. 

The kings of Dalriada are given by Flann Mainis- 
trech, the oldest authority, without adding the years of 
their reign, but they are grouped together, and each 
separate group is made to synchronize with periods in 
Irish history, so that there is no difficulty in fixing the 

^ B. i. cap. i. 


period within which each king must have reigned, keep- 
ing in view that, when the period of the Irish kings 
named does not quite correspond with that of the reigns 
of the Dabiadic kings, there is occasionally a discrepancy 
of a few years. The list of kings in the Albanic Duan, 
with the exception of an occasional omission, exactly 
corresponds with that in Flann, and, as the length of 
the reign of each king is given, a calculation founded 
upon the years of the reign of each shows that the 
chronology is the same, while both agree with that of 

The first four groups, consisting of twenty kings, ex- 
tend from the arrival of the sons of Ere to the death of 
Aeda AUain, king of Ireland, in 743 ; but this latter date 
exceeds the real date by about twenty years. These 
kings appear all as descendants of Fergus mor, son of Ere, 
with the exception of three kings in the last of the four 
groups, viz., Ferchar Fada, whose father is not given, 
and his two sons, Ainbhceallach and Sealbach, who 
appear from Tighernac to have been chiefs of the tribe of 
Lorn. Thus Tighernac has at 6 78 " Slaughter of the tribe 
of Lorn in Tirinn in a battle between Fearchar Fada and 
the Britons, who were victorious;"^ and in 719, "Battle 
of Finglinne between the two sons of Fearchar Fada, in 
which Ainbhceallach was slain on a Thursday in the Ides 
of September. Maritime battle of Ardeanesbi between 
Duncan Beg with the tribe Gabrain and Selbhac with the 
tribe of Lorn and Selbhach, was defeated on the second 
day of the Nones of October on a Tuesday, in which 

* Interfectio generis Loaim i tirinn .1. etir Ferchair Fotai et Britones qui 
victores er&nt—Chron. Picts and Scot-^, p. 72. 


many of his followers perished ;"^ and in 723 ''Selbhach, 
king of Dalriada, becomes a cleric."^ The Cinel Loarn, or 
tribe of Lorn, were the descendants of Lorn, son of Ere, 
and had now probably established a right of alternate 
succession to the throne of Dalriada with the Cinel 
Gabhran, who were the descendants of Fergus, son of 
Ere, through his grandson Gabhran, according to one 
form of the law of tanistry. 

The next group of kings, according to Flann Mainis- 
trech were thirteen in number, and reigned for 132 years, 
from the death of Aeda AUain, king of Ireland in 743, to 
the death of Aeda Finnleith, king of L'eland in 879 ; but 
the last king of this group is " Cinaet mac Alpin," and, 
as his death certainly took place in 858, according to the 
Irish Annals, or in 860, according to thePictish Chronicle, 
the period is here also post-dated twenty years. 

With this group a singular connexion commences 
between the kings of Dalriada, as given by Flann and the 
Albanic Duan, and the kings of the Picts, as given in the 
Pictish Chronicle — a connexion on which the Annals of 
Tighernac throw great light. 

The first two kings in this group of thirteen kings of 
Dalriada given by Flann, are Dungal son of Selbaigh and 
Ailpin son of Eachach. In the list of Pictish kings given 
by the Pictish Chronicle, we find at the same period two 
kings, Drest and Elpin, who reign 'together five years, 

^ Cath Finnglinne itir da meic Fearchair Fotai in quo Ainbhecellach jugu- 
latus est die quinte ferie Id, Septembris. Cath maritimum Ardeanesbi etir 
Dunchadh mbece cum genere Gabrain et Selbac cum genere Loairn et versum 
est super Selbacum ii Non. Octobris die iii. ferie in quo quidam comites 
corruerunt. — Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 74. 

2 Clericatus Selbaigh regis Dalriada. — Ibid. p. 74. 


and in the Annals of Tighernac, under the year 726, we 
have " Dungal expelled from his kingdom, and Drust 
from the kingdom of the Picts, and Alpin reigns in 
their stead." ^ The Alpin therefore who succeeds Dun- 
gal in the one list and Drust in the other, thus appears 
to be the same. His patronymic connects him with 
the Scottish line, but his own name is Pictish. The 
law of succession among the Picts, by which, accord- 
ing to Bede, whenever the succession was in doubt, the 
female line was preferred to the male, seems to have 
admitted persons of foreign descent by the male line, if 
they were of Pictish descent by the female line, to the 
Pictish throne. In the list of Pictish kings we find 
brothers succeeding each other, but in no instance is a 
father succeeded by his son. The Pictish rule of succes- 
sion seems, therefore, after the brothers, to have preferred 
the son of a sister to the son of a brother ; and when 
the husband of the sister was a foreigner, the son succeeds 
notwithstanding, but under a Pictish name. Thus we 
have Talorgan, son of Ainfred, succeeding three kings 
who were brothers, in 653, and his father Ainfred was 
the son of the Anglic king of Northumbria, who had 
taken refuge among the Picts, but eventually became 
king of Bernicia. Again, the Pictish king who defeated 
Ecfrid, king of Northumbria, in 686, was Brude, son of 
Bile, who also succeeds two kings who were brothers, 
but his father, we are told in a poem contained in 
the Life of Saint Adomnan,^ was the British king of 
Alclyde, while his grandfather (by his mother of course) 

1 Dungal de regno ejectus est et Druist de regno Pictonim ejectus et 
Elphin pro eo regnat.— CAron. Picts and Scots, p, 409. * Ibid, p. 74. 


is stated in another poem to have been a king of the 

Alpin, therefore, was probably a descendant of the 
Scottish kings of Dabiada, in the male line, who had a 
claim to the Pictish throne through the female line ; 
and as an Angle and a Briton by male descent had 
already occupied the throne, there could have been no- 
thing in the Pictish system to exclude a Scot. 

His right, however, seems to have been fiercely con- 
tested, for, two years after, we find two battles recorded 
in the Annals of Tighernac, under the year 728. The 
first is the " battle of Moncrieff in Strathearn between the 
Piccardach (Picts) themselves. Angus and Alpin fought 
that battle, and the victory was witK^Sngus, and the 
son of Alpin was slain there, and Angus took his power. "^ 
The other battle was fought in the same year. It is 
thus recorded : " A miserable battle between the Piccar- 
dccch Sit the Castle of Belief (Scone), and the victory 
was against the same Alpin, and his territories and all 
his men were taken, and Nechtan, the son of Derili, 
obtained the kingdom of the Piccardachf' ^ 

The struggle seems to have resulted in Angus, the 
son of Fergus, suppressing all resistance and seating 
himself firmly on the Pictish throne, and then entirely 
subjecting Dalriada to his power. In 729 Tighernac 
has "the battle of Drumderg Blathmig between the 

1 citron. Picts and Scots, p. 402. 

2 Cath Monaigh craebi itir Picardachaib fein. i. Aengus agus Alpin issiat 
tuc in catli agus ro mebaigh ria n- Aengus agus ro marbhadh macAilpin andsin 
agus ro gab Aengus nert. — Ibid. p. 74. 

Cath truadh itir Picardachaibh ac Caislen Credhi agus ro mebaigli ar 
in Alpin cetna agus ro bearadh a cricha agus a daine de uile agus ro gab 
Nechtain mac Derili Righi na Picardach. — Ibid. p. 75. 


Ficcardach, that is, Drust and Angus, king of the Pic- 
cardach ; and Drust was slain there on the twelfth day of 
the month of August ; "^ and in 736 he has '' Angus, son 
of Fergus, king of the Picts, lays waste the regions of 
Dalriada, seizes Dunad (the capital), burns Creich, and 
puts the two sons of Selvach, viz. Dungal and Feradach, 
in chains."^ From this period Flann gives us eleven kings 
of Dalriada. Of these, the fourth, ** Domnall mac Cus- 
tantin " has, from his name, apparently a Pictish father. 
The fifth, seventh, and eighth, viz., " Conall," " Custantin 
mac Fergusa," and *^ Angus mac Fergusa," are also found 
in the list of Pictish kings at the same period. The 
ninth and tenth are " Aed mac Boanta '' and " Eoganan 
mac Angusa ; " and the latter also appears in the list of 
Pictish kings at the same time.^ 

There is, unfortunately, a hiatus in the Annals of 
Tighernac from 765 to 973 ; but a fragment in the Book 
of Leinster, a compilation made in 1160, states that in 
838 a fleet of the Galls or foreigners plundered Dublin, 

^ Cath Droma Derg Blathmig etir Piccardaibh .i. Druist agus Aengus Ri 
na Piccardach agus ro raarbhadh Drust andsin in dara la deg do mi Aughuist. 
— Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 75. 

2 Aengus macFergusa rex Pictorum vastavit regiones Dailriata et obtinuit 
Duoad et compussit Creic et duos filios Selbaiche catenis alligavit .i. Dond- 
gal et Feradach. — Ibid. pp. 75-76. 

3 The following comparison will show this : — 

Kings of Dalriada from Flann. Kings of Picts from Pictish Chronicle. 

Oonall caeim. Canaul tilius Tarla. 

Conall eile. 

Custantin mac Fergusa. Custantin filius Urguist. 

Angus mac Fergusa. Unuist filius Urguist. 

Aed mac Boanta. Drest filius Constantin. 

Eoganan mac Aengusa. Uven filius Unuist. 

Wrad filius Bargoit. 
Cinaet mac Alpin. ' "^ Kinadius filius Alpini. 


Leinster, and Bregia, and that " the Dabiatai gave 
battle to this fleet, for they went, with the left hand to 
Erinn northwards, after the plundering of Leinster and 
Bregia. Eoghanan, son of Oengus, king of Dalriatai, 
was killed in that battle ;"^ and the Annals of Ulster, 
which generally repeat the Scotch entries in Tighernac, 
has, in 838 {recte 839), "Battle by the gentiles against 
the men of Fortrenn, in which Euganan, son of Oengusa, 
and Bran, son of Aengusa, and Aed, son of Boanta, and 
many others were slain." ^ 

The expression, " men of Fortrenn," shows that 
these two kings, " Aed mac Boanta" and " Euganan mac 
Aengusa," were Picts ; and it may be remarked that the 
other kings in the list of kings of Dalriada, who corre- 
spond with kings of the same name in the list of Pictish 
kings, appear in the Irish Annals as kings of the Picts 
only, while of the eleven kings of this group only two, 
viz., Aed Aireatec and Fergus, appear in the Irish 
Annals, as kings of Dalriada, no corresponding names 
appearing in the Pictish list.^ It seems therefore very 
plain that the attempt of Alpin to obtain possession of 

1 Tucsat Dalriatai cath don longis sein ; uair ra chuatar lam chle ri 
hErind fathuaid ar milliud Lagen ocus Breg. Ro marbad isin chath sin 
Eoganan mac Aengusa ri Dailriatai. — Wars of the Oaedhal with the GaeJ, 
p. 226. 

2 Bellum re genntib for firu Fortrenn in quo Euganan ma Oengusa et 
Bran mac Oengiisa et Aed mac Boanta et alii pene innumerabiles ceciderunt. 
— Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 360. 

3 778 Aed finn mac Ecdach rex Dalriati mortuus est. — An. Ult. 
781 Fergus mac Ecbach ri Dalriati defunctus est. — An. Ult. 

807 Jugulatio Conall mac Taidg o Conall meic Aedain i Cuinntire. — 

An. Ult. 
820 Custantin mac Fergusa rex Fortren moritur. — An. Ult. 
834 Oengus mac Fergusa rex Fortren moritur. — Chron. Picts and ScotSf 
pp. 359, 360. 


the Pictish throne led to the invasion and conquest of 
Dalriada by the Pictish king, and that it was, at this 
time, a province subject to the Picts/ 

^ In the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (vol, vii. 
part ii.), a paper is printed, called " Argyleshire invaded but not subdued 
by Angus, king of the Picts, in the years 736 and 741, by Archibald Smith, 
M.D." In this paper the author assails the conclusions I had come to in 
the preface to the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots after an analysis of these 
early chronicles. He does not, however, grapple with the plain inferences to be 
derived from a comparison of these documents, but rests his argument mainly 
upon some passages in the Irish Annals, which, he seems to imply, I had pur- 
posely omitted from the extracts from these Annals of all events relating to 
Scotland, inserted in the Chronicles of the Picts and Scots. I may as well 
take this opportunity of noticing these passages, as they well illustrate the 
extreme danger of founding historical arguments upon quotations taken at 
second hand from other writers, without examining the original authorities 

The first of the passages in question referred to is " 749 Combustio Cille- 
moire Aedain filii Oengusa," which, with Pinkerton, he supposes to mean 
'* the burning of Kilmore by Aedan, son of Angus," and that the place 
meant is Kilmore in Lorn. The true rendering, however, is " the burning of 
Kilmore of Aedan, son of Angus, " and the place really referred to is the 
church of Kilmore Aedain, in the county of Armagh, Ireland, so called be- 
cause dedicated to St. Aedan, son of Angus. — (Colgan, A. SS., p. 731 Mart. 
Don. 2 Novr.) The other omitted passages from the Annals on which he 
founds are the following : — 
• A.D. 747. Dunlaing mac Dunchon, king of the sept of Arddgail, died. 

A.D. 800. It is recorded that '* between the sept of Lorn and the sept of 
Argyle an action took place in which Fiangalach mac Dunlainge was 

A.D. 812. Death of Angus, son of Dunlaing, king of kindred Argyll. 

From which he infers that the tribes of Lorn and of Argyll still subsisted 
under their native princes. 

These passages seem to have been quoted at second hand from Pinkerton ; 
but if he had referred to the original authorities he would have found that 
the names are not " Lorn and Argyll," but in all three " Laeghaire " and 
'• Ardgail." They are the names of two districts in Ireland, and have no 
connexion with Lorn or Argyll, and therefore were omitted in the extracts 
published in the "Chronicles." This can be easily established, but it may 
be suflBcient to refer to the Book of Rights (p. 17), where, in giving the list of 
the subsidies paid by the king of Tara to the kings and territories of 
Meath, we find 

Ten steeds, ten bondmen, ten women, ten drinking-horns to the king 
of I^aeghaire. 


The last king of this group is Kenneth mac Alpin, 
whose chronology is well known, and corresponds in 
the main with his place in the Synchronisms of Flann. 

As both the lists of the Pictish kings, and of the 
Dalriadic kings, combine in him, and are succeeded by 

Seven shields and seven steeds, and seven bondmen, and seven women, 
and seven hounds to the king of Ardgail. 

In his Notes, O'Donovan says they were two districts in East Meath. 

The author also states that I have dislocated and inverted the position of 
Alpin from that which he holds in the lists of Flann Mainistrech and the 
Duan and have shifted his place. I have not done so. The extracts from Flann 
and the Duan, I need hardly say, are correctly printed ; and the author has 
probably again been misled by Pinkerton, who, in his copy of the Duan, 
transfers the lines containing Alpin from their proper place. The author 
would have seen it was so if he had referred to the copy of the Duan printed 
by Dr. Todd in his edition of the Irish Nennius. 

The other passages quoted are mainly prior to the year 736, and have little 
bearing npon the argument ; but in dealing with the important entry in that 
year, " Oengus mac Fergusa rex Pictorum, vastavit regiones Dailriatai et 
obtinuit Dunat et combussit Creic," the author states that for " combussit 
Creic" in the Annals of Ulster, Tighernac has "compulsit creich," which may 
be translated, " he drove away a booty," but here he has been misled by 
O'Connor. The word in Tighernac is not " compulsit," but " compussit," 
which is simply " combussit " written with a p instead of a h, — a very usual 
substitution in mediaeval Latin. 

He also states that in the Irish Annals " we meet with repeated allusions 
to Duinnatt, Dunut, Dunaidh and Dunad, all of which appear to be only 
different forms of orthography to signify the same name of a place," and says 
that " I enumerate them all as equivalents for the name of the fort called 
Dunad, on the river Add, in the moss of Crinan," but which he thinks more 
properly belong to a hill fort near Oban, called Dunath or Dunaidh, and now 
known as Dunach. But the name Dunad is mentioned only three times in 
the Irish Annals, once by Tighernac as Dunad, and twice in the Annals of 
Ulster as Duinatt and Dunat. It is nowhere mentioned either in the Annals 
or by use under the form of Dunut or Dunaidh. On the other hand, the hill 
fort in Lorn called Dunaidh never was called Dunath. The names are 
different. This was an ordinary hill fort of no importance, but no one can 
examine the remarkable rocky hill called Dunadd, standing isolated in the 
middle of the moss of Crinan, with the river Add sweeping round its base, 
and its elaborate fortification, without being satisfied of its paramount claim 
to represent the ancient acropolis of Dalriada. The etymologies given by the 
author I pass over as unworthy of remark, and, so far as this paper is con- 
cerned, the question is left exactly where it was. 


his dynasty, he must have acquired possession of the 
thrones both of the Pictish kingdom and of Dalriada, now 
apparently a Pictish province. Of his own antecedents 
we know nothing, except that he was of Scottish race and 
bore the patronymic of " mac Alpin,*' which is a Pictish 
name. A narrative of his conquest of the Picts seems at 
one time to have been contained in the Pictish Chronicle, 
but it is omitted in the only copy that has come down to 
us. This Chronicle however says that, two years before 
he entered Pictavia, he had obtained the kingdom of 
Dalriada. As the Chronicle gives him a reign of six- 
teen years, and he died in 858, this gives 842 as his 
accession to the Pictish throne, and 840 to that of Dal- 
riada, which is the year following the great battle with 
the Scandinavian pirates, recorded in the Book of Lein- 
ster and Annals of Ulster, and the death of Euganan, 
king of Dalriada, his immediate predecessor, according to 
the Synchronisms of Flann and the Albanic Duan. Flann 
adds the important statement, that '' he was the first 
king of the Gael (or Scots) who possessed the kingdom 
of Scone,"* showing that Scone was then the capital of 
the Pictish kingdom, over which he established his 

It is diflScult now to ascertain the exact nature of 
the revolution by which this was accomplished. The 
Pictish Chronicle indicates that there was an ecclesias- 
tical element in it, when it says that " God vouchsafed 
to make them (the Picts) aliens and vain in their 
inheritance, on account of their malice, for they not 

^ Im oet righ ro gab righe Sgoinde, do Qaidelaib. — Chron, Picta and 
SeoU, p. 21. 



only despised the worship and precepts of the Lord, 
but refused to allow others to participate equally, accord- 
ing to the law of equity."^ This obscure allusion 
refers probably to the expulsion of the Columban clergy 
from the Pictish territories in 717, thus recorded by 
Tighernac : " Expulsion of the family of lona across 
Drumalban by King Nectan," ^ and the introduction of 
a secular clergy in their place from Northumbria, as 
indicated by Bede.^ The Scottish clergy, no doubt, never 
lost the hope of regaining their position as the Church 
of Pictavia, and of recovering their possessions there. 
The occurrence of a Scottish prince having a claim 
to the Pictish crown by the Pictish law of succession, 
accompanied by the invasion of the Danes, and the 
crushing defeat sustained by the Pictish army which 
opposed them, probably afforded a favourable oppor- 
tunity ; and, while Kenneth, his brother and two sons, 
though of Scottish descent, appear to have occupied the 
throne as Pictish kings, the substitution of the law of 
tanistry for the Pictish law of succession, which they 
succeeded in effecting, perpetuated the succession in this 
Scottish race. The re-establishment of the Scottish 
Church, and the predominance of the Scots over the 
Picts, was thus gradually accomplished in the districts 
extending from the Forth to the Spey, of which Scone 
was the chief seat. These districts, first known as 
Pictavia, and then as Albania, eventually assumed the 

1 Deus enim eos (Pictos) pro merito suae malitise alienos ac otiosos hereditate 
dignatus est facere : quia illi non solum Domini missam ac preceptum spreve- 
runt ; sed et in jure sequitatis aliis sequi parari nolnernnt. —Chron. Picts and 
Scots, p. 8. 

2 Expulsio familie Te trans dorsum Britannie a Nectono rege. — Ibid. 
p. 74. ^ B. V. cap. xxi. 

VOL. II. d 


name of Scotia, and this name gradually spread over the 
rest of the country. 

Such is the aspect in which the early history of 
Scotland is presented to us by these ancient authorities, 
and such was the received account down to the end of 
the reign of Malcolm Canmore. They exhibit to us 
prior to 850, a Pictish monarchy in the eastern and 
northern districts of Scotland ; a colony of Scots from 
Ireland forming in the sixth century the small kingdom 
of Dalriada in the west ; the expulsion of the Scottish 
clergy from the Pictish territories in 717 ; the attempt 
of Alpin, the last king of Dalriada, of the Scottish race 
to mount the Pictish throne in 726, followed by the con- 
quest of Dalriada by the Picts in 736, and their subjec- 
tion to them for a century under princes partly of 
Pictish race ; and the final union of both kingdoms under 
a king of the Scottish race in the year 850. It becomes 
therefore necessary to trace the causes which led to the 
gradual corruption and manipulation of the Chronicles, 
and laid the foundation of that fictitious history of the 
early period, which superseded this earlier received account 
and threw it into oblivion. The country generally, and 
the different races which composed its population, appear 
to have in the main acquiesced in the government of 
Malcolm, and his reign seems to have given birth to 
something like a national spirit. The tie which united 
the districts south of the Firths of Forth and Clyde, with 
their Welsh population in Cumbria, and their Anglic 
population in Lothian, with Scotland north of the 
Firths, must still have been a slender one, and there 
can have been but little community of feeling between 


them. The heart of the kingdom still consisted of the 
districts extending from the Forth to the Spey. There 
the Crown had its chief power, and were brought most 
directly in contact with the people ; but the connexion 
of the reigning house with the Saxon Koyal family, 
must have given them a peculiar hold upon the popu- 
lation of the southern provinces ; while the Gaelic 
people of the provinces beyond the Spey, viz., those of 
Moravia or Moray, and Ergadia or Argyle, as well as 
of the southern province of Galwedia or Galloway 
proper, and the Norwegian possessors of Caithness, 
Orkney, and the Western Isles, must have maintained a 
position of semi-independence. 

On the death of Malcolm Canmore in 1093, these 
interests again clashed, and the different laws of succes- 
sion once more came into collision. By the law which 
governed the succession to the southern provinces, 
Malcolm ought to be succeeded by his eldest son, Duncan, 
but, by the law of tanistry, his brother Donald was the 
heir, and he succeeded in obtaining possession of the 
crown for six months, when he was driven out by Dun- 
can with the aid of a Northumbrian army. Duncan, 
after a reign of six months, was slain by the head of one 
of the great Celtic tribes, the men of the Mearns, who 
frequently appear in the Scottish annals, and Donald 
again came in ; but he seems to have claimed only Scot- 
land north of the Firths, and to have tried to conciliate 
the southern provinces by placing Edmund, a son of 
Malcolm by the Saxon Princess Margaret, over them. 
Finally, after a reign of three years and a half, Edgar, 
the eldest son of Malcolm by the Princess Margaret, was 


firmly established as king of the whole country by 
a Saxon army led by ^Edgar -^theling, Margaret's 

Edgar's reign seems to have been undisturbed, but 
under his successors the northern and southern districts 
were once more separated. Edgar appears to have 
assumed the right claimed by the Saxon kings, of regu- 
lating the succession to the throne by testament, where 
no direct descendants existed, and bequeathed to his 
brother Alexander the kingdom of Scotland north of the 
Firths of Forth and Clyde with the title of king ; and 
the districts south of the Firths to his youngest brother 
David with the title of Earl. On the death of Alexan- 
der, however, without lawful issue, David succeeded to 
him, and the northern and southern districts were once 
more united under the same king. 

It is with the reign of David that the work of 
concentration really commenced. Early in his reign, 
the Earl of Moray, the head of the principal Celtic 
tribe in the north, invaded the kingdom, and pene- 
trated as far as Stracathrow in Forfarshire, but by 
his defeat and death in 1130, David brought the 
people of Moray under his authority. Nothing can 
better show the heterogeneous elements that made 
up the aggregate of the population under his rule, 
and with which he had to deal, than the account 
which Ailred gives of the composition of his army 
at the battle of the Standard in 1138. The army 
was ranged in four divisions ; the first consisted of the 
* Galwenses,' or people of Galloway, usually termed Picts, 
but who were a Gaelic people ; the second division con- 
sisted of the 'Cumbrenses' and * Tevidalenses,' or the 


British people of Strathclyde and Teviotdale ; the third 
division consisted of the ' Laodonenses/ or Anglic popu- 
lation of Lothian, with the ' Insulani ^ and ' Lavernani/ 
or people of the Isles and Lennox ; and the king had in 
his own division the ' Scoti/ or people of the districts ex- 
tending from the Forth to the Spej; the 'Muravenses/ the 
newly conquered Gaelic people of Moray, and a body of 
' Milites Angli et Franci,' or Anglic and Norman knights, 
who formed his own body-guard. David had passed 
his youth at the Court of England, and had married the 
daughter of the Earl of Northumberland and the widow 
of the Norman Earl of Northampton. He had ruled the 
provinces south of the Firths as earl for seventeen years 
before he became king, and his whole training and lean- 
ings were Norman. He endeavoured to effect the work 
of concentration by the introduction of a powerful Nor- 
man baronage into the kingdom, and the establishment 
of branches of the most influential of the monastic orders. 
His reign is the true commencement of feudal Scotland. 
Prior to his accession, the various Celtic branches of the 
population north of the Firths properly represented the 
kingdom, and were under the rule of a line of princes 
who, descended from the Saxon royal family in the female 
line, had been maintained on the throne by Saxon sup- 
port, and seem to have considered themselves as to all 
intents and purposes Saxon kings ; but David ruled as a 
feudal monarch, and based his power on the feudal 
vassals of the Crown. The Celtic element became one 
to be controlled and kept down, and any attempt to 
vindicate ancient Celtic rights and privileges, to be 
suppressed, as rebellion against the Crown. 

The great power and force of character of David 


appears to have controlled these discordant elements in 
the population of his kingdom and materially advanced 
the work of their amalgamation, when the sudden death 
of his only son, Prince Henry, leaving three sons under 
age, threatened its stability. David foresaw that the 
succession to the throne would again lead to a collision 
between the Celtic and Teutonic branches of the people, 
and to a renewed conflict between their laws of succes- 
sion. The sons of Malcolm Canmore had succeeded each 
other in strict accordance with both laws. The Teutonic 
population appear not to have recognised any right to 
the throne in the family of Duncan the eldest son, 
though unquestionably legitimate, in competition with 
the sons of the Saxon Princess Margaret, and the Celtic 
law preferred brothers to sons ; but the succession of a 
grandson to a grandfather was repugnant to the Celtic 
notions, as long as an elder branch of the royal family 
could be resorted to. The essence of their law was the 
preference of every male member of the older generation 
before any of the next generation could be called to the 
succession. In order to strengthen the position of his 
grandson, Malcolm, the eldest son of Prince Hemy, 
David prevailed upon the Earl of Fife, whose functions 
and privileges in connexion with the election and coro- 
nation of the kings were derived from the older Celtic 
constitution, and from his position at the head of the 
seven Earls of Scotland, to make a progress with Malcolm 
through the kingdom and to obtain his recognition by all 
classes, as heir to the throne. David, however, died in 
the following year, and his forebodings were realized, 
for Malcolm, who was probably supported by the 


southern districts, had to encounter the opposition of 
the entire Gaelic population of the country. He had no 
sooner been crowned at Scone, in 1153, than Somerled, 
the Celtic lord of the extensive province of Ergadia, along 
with his nephews, who claimed to be descendants of 
Angus Earl of Moray, invaded the kingdom. In 1160 
he was besieged in Perth by the Earl of Stratherne and 
five other earls, no doubt six of the seven Earls of 
Scotland, the seventh, the Earl ofjife, being committed 
to his-^ause, and, in the same year, Galloway, under its 
Celtic lord, Fergus of Galloway, rose against him. 
Malcolm has always been regarded as a weak prince, and 
his reign productive of no great events, but certain it is 
that he succeeded in overcoming this great opposition, 
and in more effectually reducing his Gaehc subjects to 
submission, than any king before or after him. He took 
Donald, the son of Malcolm Macbeth, the claimant to 
the Earldom of Mora y, prisoner m the year 1156. He 
made peace with Somerled in 1157, and, by releasing 
Malcolm Macbeth, the father of his nephews, from prison, 
and bestowing upon him the Earldom of Ross, he 
neutralized the claims of his family. He defeated the 
attempt of the six earls who besieged him in 1160, and, 
in the same year, he thrice invaded Galloway, com- 
pletely subdued it, and compelled its lord to take the 
monastic habit and retire to Holyrood. In the next 
year, following the policy of his grandfather, he deprived 
a part of the inhabitants of Moray of their lands, and 
bestowed them upon Norman barons ; and finally, in the 
last year of his twelve years' reign, Somerled was slain 
in an attempt to invade his kingdom. 


Malcolm was succeeded in 1165 by his brother 
William the Lion, and, in that year, the first of the 
later chronicles makes its appearance, but in a very 
diflferent shape from the earlier historical documents. 

In this chronicle^ the long list of Pictish kings is not 
to be found. The title of the chronicle is ** Cronica 
regum Scottorum ccc et iiij annorum." It commences 
with Fergus son of Ere, and adds that he was the first 
of his race who reigned in Scotland from Drumalban to 
the Irish Sea ; then follow the kings who succeeded him, 
down to Alpin son of Eochadh. The kings, however, 
who reigned over Dalriada from Alpin in the early 
part of the eighth century to Kenneth mac Alpin in 
the middle of the ninth, during wKich time it appears to 
have been a Pictish province, and governed to some 
extent at least by Pictish princes, disappear ; the history 
of that century is suppressed; and the earlier kings, 
from Fergus mac Ere to Alpin mac Eachach, are ex- 
tended, by the introduction, in the latter part, of five 
fictitious kings between Aincellach and Selvach to make 
up the additional time added to the true date of Alpin, 
and he is brought down and made the immediate prede- 
cessor of Kenneth mac Alpin, thus identifying him with 
the father of Kenneth. The effect of these alterations is 
to present a continuous Scottish kingdom, with a succes- 
sion of kings of the Scottish race, from Fergus mac Ere 
to Malcolm the Second, but the fictitious character of this 
alteration is apparent from the compiler having inad- 
vertently preserved Kennetli mac Alpin's designation of 
*' primus rex Scotorum/' In this chronicle appears for 

* Chrm, Picta and ScotSt No. xvi. p. 130. 


the first time a long Celtic pedigree of the kings of Scot- 
land, deducing the descent of William the Lion from 
Gaidhil GlaSy-tlieLg^w^3/?7ii^5 of the Gaelic race, through a 
long line of mythic Irish kings, and probably equally 
imaginary kings of Irish Dalriada, down to Fergus mac 
Ere, the part of the genealogy representing the kings of 
Scotch Dalriada being in strict accordance with the recon- 
structed chronicle. At the same time that this chronicle 
was given forth, there also appeared a legend of the 
foundation of St. Andrews, in which that event, which 
really took place in the suppressed century of Dalriadic 
history, viz., the latter half of the eighth and first half of 
the ninth, is put back and synchronized with the removal 
of the relics of St. Andrew from Patras to Constantinople 
in the fourth century. The object of all this manipulation 
was probably to present William to the Gaelic popula- 
tion, as the heir of a long line of Scottish ancestors, and 
to enhance the claims of St. Andrews, as the ecclesiastical 
church, by whose Bishop he was crowned ; and, as this 
long genealogy first appears in the year of his accession, 
it is not impossible that the ceremony was first intro- 
duced at his coronation which Fordun describes at the 
coronation of Alexander iii., when a Highland sennachy 
recites this Celtic genealogy before the king, when placed 
upon the Coronation Stone at Scone, on which so many 
of his Scottish ancestors had been crowned. 

William the Lion had not reigned nine years when 
events occurred which introduced a new and important 
element into the political history of Scotland, and 
materially influenced the form of its chronicles. In 
1173, William took the part of the young Prince Henry 



against his father, Henry the Second, king of England, 
and invaded England. In 1174 he repeated the in- 
vasion, entered Northumberland at the head of a select 
body of troops, and was taken prisoner near Alnwick, 
and the Scots purchased his liberty by surrendering 
the independence of the kingdom. With the consent of 
the Scottish barons and clergy, William became the 
liegeman of Henry for Scotland and all his other terri- 
tories ; and, in the following year, he, w^ith his clergy 
and barons, did homage to Henry at York. In 1189, 
Kichard i., the successor of Henry, restored to Scotland 
its independence for pa5rment of a sum of ten thousand 

The question regarding the independence of Scotland, 
and the supremacy of England, had hitherto been merely 
a speculative one. If the English chronicles contained 
entries to the eflfect that the king of Scots did homage to 
the English king, the Scots maintained that the homage 
applied only to the districts south of the Forth, derived 
originally from the English monarchs, and in no way 
concerned the more ancient kingdom of Scotland proper. 
There had been as yet no serious controversy between 
the two countries on the subject, and, if the discussion 
which took place in the reign of Alexander i. with the 
English Archbishops, as to the independence of the 
Church of St. Andrews, indirectly involved that of the 
kingdom also — for Alexander did not possess Lothian and 
Cumbria, and there could have been no question about 
them, — ^the Scottish king stoutly asserted and practically 
maintained the independence of his kingdom. There 
had been as yet, in fact, no reality in the question, and 


the Scottish kings, whether as regards Scotland proper, 
or the districts south of the Firths, had acted, to all 
intents and purposes, as the monarchs of an independent 

Giraldus Cambrensis, a contemporary writer, and who 
may be considered as unbiassed on this question, clearly 
implies this. 

In his tract " De instructione principum," completed 
about 1214, he says, *' Having taken William prisoner, 
he (Henry ii.) subjected Scotia, and thus adding 
nobly to the Anglican crown an unexpected increase, 
greatly extended the bounds of his kingdom from 
the Southern Ocean to the northern Isles of Orkney, 
comprehending the whole island, as it is enclosed by 
the ocean, with a powerful hand in one monarchy. 
Because, from the time when the Picts and Scots first 
occupied the northern parts of the island, it is not 
recorded in any authentic writing that this was done 
by any one after the time of Claudius Caesar, who not 
only added Scotia to the Britannic kingdom, but also 
the Orkney Isles to the Roman empire. But such, alas, 
and so great an honour, sold by his immediate successor 
by a vile commerce and irreparable loss, vanished from 
the Anglican Crown, and thus, for a passing price, was 
extinguished a perpetual and invaluable lustre.'' ^ 

Giraldus's statement, that no act of homage had as 

1 Scotiam quoque, capto Rege Willelmo, subpeditavit (Henricus secundus) 
et Anglicanse coronas tarn nobile prseter solitum adjiciens incrementum, regni 
metas et terminos, a meridionali viz. oceano usque ad boreales Orcadum 
insulas egregie dilatavit; totam insulam Britannise, sicut oceano clauditur, in 
unam potenti manu concludens monarchiam. Quod a tempore quo Picti et 
Scoti boreales insulse partes primum occupauerunt, in nullo legitur autbentico 
scripto, post tempora Claudii Ca-'saris, qui non solum Scotiam regno Britan- 


yet been recorded in any authentic writing, is remark- 
able, and goes far to invalidate the passages to that 
effect now found in English Chronicles and historians, 
and his belief evidently was that the subjection of Scot- 
land to Henry the Second was the first time in which 
any king of England really possessed any supremacy 
over Scotland. 

The surrender of the independence of Scotland, and 
its recovery, naturally led to a serious controversy 
between the two countries, with its usual results of the 
manipulation of chronicles, and falsification of records 
on both sides ; and we find that shortly before the 
restoration of the independence of Scotland, the chronicles 
assume a new form adapted to meet that question. 

A chronicle, which appears to have been issued in 
1187, has been preserved, unfortunately in a very inac- 
curate transcript so far as proper names are concerned, 
but sufficiently distinct for our purpose, especially when 
compared with the subsequent chronicles of the same 
type. In this chronicle,^ which is the second of the later 
chronicles, the kings of Dalriada, from Fergus mac Ere 
to Alpin, according to the altered form in which they are 
found in the chronicle of 1165, are placed before the long 
line of Pictish kings, so as to give them a remote an- 
tiquity ; and this kingdom of the Scots is said to have 
commenced 443 years before the Incarnation. After 
Alpin, the last of these kings, we have the expres- 

nico, Bed et insulas Orcadnm Romano quoque adjecit imperio, a quoquam 
factum f uisse. Sed tantus, prok dolor ! et tarn maguificus honor ab Angli- 
canA corona per successorem proximum, vili commorcio et irreparabili damno 
▼enandatoi evaouit, et pro pretio prasteron nte perpetuum et impretiabile 
decus exspiravit — Dist. ii. cap. 1. 

» Chroiu Pictt and ScotSt No. xxiii. p. 148. 


sion " et tunc translatum est regnum Scotorum in regnum 
Pictorum/' We then have the list of Pictish kings, be- 
ginning, " Cruchine filius Kyan clemens judex accepit 
monarchiam in regno Pictorum ;" but this list has not 
either escaped manipulation. It in the main agrees 
with the Pictish Chronicle down to Nectan, son of 
Derili, whose reign terminates in 724. But, just where 
the connexion between the Pictish kings and the 
Scottish kingdom of Dalriada commenced, we find it 
disguised by artificial alterations. The names of Drust, 
and Alpin, the Dabiadic king who succeeded him, dis- 
appear. The first part of the reign of Angus mac 
Fergus, during which the conquest of Dalriada takes 
place, is likewise eliminated, and the last sixteen years 
of his reign only given, and the interval is filled up by 
an imaginary Garnard, son of Ferath, who reigns twenty- 
four years. ^ The subsequent reigns likewise undergo 
alteration, and three additional kings are added, the last 
of whom is " Drust filius Ferat." Of him it is said, 
" Iste occisus est apud Fortheviot, secundum quosdem 
Sconam, a Scottis f and he is followed by *'Kynat mac 
Alpin," who reigns " super Scottos, destructis Pictis." 

The object of thus throwing back the kings of Dal- 
riada to a period before the commencement of the 
Pictish monarchy was evidently to oppose to the English 
claims, founded upon the early traditions of Britain as 

^ This will appear from the following comparison : — 

Pxctisli Chronicle. Later Chronicles. 

Necton filius Dereli, . xv Nectan filius Dergard, . xviii 


-p, , . , .. . . V Garnard filius Ferath, , xxiiii 

Elphm, \ ' 

Onuist filius Urguist, . xxx Onegussa filius Fergusa, . xvi 


one monarcliy, an ancient Scottish kingdom, as tlie origin 
of the Scottish monarchy, and by thus clinging fast to 
their Scottish descent, which einerged from Ireland, to 
fall back upon an early independence. It was necessary, 
however, to connect Kenneth and his Scots with these 
early Scots, from whose kings he is in this Chronicle 
separated by the entire duration of the Pictish monarchy, 
and this was done by adding to the account of his reign 
the statement, " Hie mira caUiditate duxit Scotos de 
Ergadia in terra Pictorum/' The statement that Ken- 
neth was not only of Scottish descent, but that he led 
the Scots out of Argyle, and established them, after 
destroying the Picts, in the kingdom of the Picts, appears 
in this Chronicle for the first time, and is perhaps little 
less bold than a statement likewise inserted in it 
for the first time, in the reign of Grig, the fourth 
successor of Kenneth : " Hie subjugavit sibi totam Hi- 
berniam et fere totam Angliam." If this statement 
were true, it certainly disposes very summarily of any 
question of the subjection of Scotland to England. 

The surrender by the English monarch of the rights 
which had been extorted from the Scotch by the cap- 
ture of their king, two years after the appearance of this 
Chronicle, threw the question again into abeyanca 
Fordun records the important fact that, at the corona- 
tion of Alexander ii., the successor of William, the seven 
Earls of Scotland appear as a body to have taken a part ; 
but, if any Chronicle was then compiled, it has not been 
preserved. At the coronation of Alexander in. however, 
of which he gives a more elaborate account than of any 
other, and his narrative of which is very graphic, he 


tells us that, when Alexander was placed on the corona- 
tion stone, consecrated king, and received the homage of 
the earls and other nobles, ** a certain Scotch moun- 
taineer, suddenly kneeling before the throne with bent 
head, saluted the king in his mother tongue, in these 
Scottish words : Benach de Ee Alban Alexander mac 
Alexander mac William mac Henri mac David, and thus, 
repeating the genealogy of the Scottish kings, rehearsed 
them to the end/'^ In the earliest compilation of his 
work, Fordun does not insert the genealogy itself, but 
merely says that it was deduced from Scota, daughter 
of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, from whom the Scots derived 
their origin ; but, in the subsequent editions of this part 
of his work, the genealogy is inserted as far as Fergus, 
son of Feredach, who he says is by others called Fere- 
chere, and he tells us (in B. v. cap. 50) that he obtained 
this genealogy from Walter de Wardlaw, Bishop of 

The genealogy, however, is precisely the same as 
that which appeared for the first time at the accession 
of William the Lion ; and, as on that occasion, a chro- 
nicle of the kings of Scotland appears about the same 
time. This is the Chronicle which was preserved in the 
Eegister of the Priory of St. Andrews, and is the third 
of the later chronicles.^ The form of this Chronicle 
differs from that of the Chronicle which appeared at the 
accession of William the Lion, but resembles in every 
respect the Chronicle which appeared in 1187, and is 
in close accordance with it. The two Chronicles are in 
fact the same, and we have likewise the latter only in 

1 Annals, xlviii. ^ CJiron. Pkts and Scots, No. xxix, p. 171. 


a later transcript, with a very inaccurate rendering of 
the proper names. A comparison of the two, however, 
enables us to restore this form of the Chronicle with 
sufficient accuracy. The form of this and the preceding 
Chronicle is, however, quite inconsistent with the genea- 
logy which was framed in accordance with the form of 
the Chronicle of 1165. That Chronicle makes the Dal- 
riadic kings from Fergus, son of Ere, to Alpin the imme- 
diate and direct predecessors of Kenneth mac Alpin, and 
the genealogy in accordance with it, takes the pedigree 
up to Kenneth, and then through Alpin to Fergus 
mac Ere. But the Chronicle of 1187 and that of St. 
Andrews, which is in similar form, remove the Dalri- 
adic kings from Fergus to Alpin to a remote period 
before the commencement of the Pictish monarchy, and 
again dissever them from Kenneth. 

This inconsistency seems to have become apparent to the 
framers of these chronicles, for the next chronicle which 
appeared, the chronicle introduced into the Scalachro- 
nica/ which is the fourth of the later chronicles, and 
appears to have been originally compiled in the year 
1280, two years after Alexander iii. had for the second 
time done homage to the English king, has some 
important variations. The Dalriadic kings are here 
also made to precede the line of Pictish kings, but the 
name of the first of these is changed from Fergus son of 
Ere to ** Fergus son of Ferthair of Ireland, descended 
from Scota.*' This is obviously an attempt to adapt 
this form of the chronicle to the genealogy. Fergus 
mac Ere appears in the genealogy twelve generations 

* Chran. Picts and Seots^ No. xxil p. 194. 


before Kennetli mac Alpin, but in the same genealogy, 
thirty-five generations higher up is a "Forgo son of 
Feradaig," and in some copies now lost the names seem 
to have been " Fergus son of Ferethar." This name 
accords better in point of time with the commencement 
of the line of the Dalriadic kings when removed to this 
remote position, and thus, in this chronicle, Fergus son of 
Ere becomes Fergus son of Ferethar. His successors are 
the same down to Alpin with this exception, that only 
two of the five interjected kings are given. After Alpin, 
instead of the " Tunc translatum est regnum Scotorum 
in regnum Pictorum,'^ it is said, " He was the last of 
the Scots who at that time reigned immediately before 
the Picts." Then follows an account of the origin of the 
Picts taken apparently from Geofiroy of Monmouth, and 
a list of the Pictish kings, which in the main agrees with 
the Chronicle of 1187, and that of St. Andrews, but with 
the same suppression of the reigns of Drust and Alpin 
and fourteen years of the reign of Angus mac Fergus, 
and the introduction of a fictitious Garnard, son of 
Feradach. After the last king, Drust son of Feradach, 
is the statement, " He was the last king of the Picts and 
was killed at Scone by treason." He is not however 
immediately followed by Kenneth mac Alpin, as in the 
two previous chronicles. Another difficulty seems also 
to have become apparent, viz., how to connect Kenneth 
and his Scots with the previous Scottish kingdom 
when removed to so remote a period; and, in order 
to remove this difficulty, the framer of this chronicle 
introduces here another colony of Scots from Ireland who, 
under Kedda the son of a king of Ireland, colonize Gal- 
voL. II. e 


loway, and spread from thence to Argyle and the Isles, 
and then conquer the Picts, and thus the chronicler 
adds, "the kingdom of the Scots recommenced, which 
had commenced before the Picts, 443 years before the in- 
carnation." Then follows the statement : " The Picts 
destroyed in this manner, Kynet son of Alpin reigned 
over the Scots and was the first king of the Scots after 
the Picts/' There is no equivalent statement to that 
in the previous chronicles : " Hie mira calliditate duxit 
Scotos de Ergadia in terram Pictorum," but, in place of 
it, after stating, as in the other chronicles, that Kenneth 
was buried in lona, where Fergus, Loern, and Angus were 
buried, this chronicle adds, '* three brothers who brought 
the Scots into Archady (Argyle) upon the Picts." The 
statement that Grig " subjected to his government all 
Ireland and a great part of England " is repeated in this 

The death of Alexander in. without male issue and 
that of his grand-daughter, the Maid of Norway, the 
heiress of the crown, terminated this line of kings, and, as 
is weU known, led to a competition for the crown and 
the revival of the English claims. In the course of the 
steps which Edward i. took to bring the kingdom of 
Scotland under subjection to him, he produced in 1290 
a vast body of Extracts from Chronicles collected from 
the monasteries in England, including the very impor- 
tant Chronicle of Huntingdon. In these extracts every 
instance in which a Scottish king did homage to the king 
of England is quoted; and, in 1301, a discussion took 
place at Rome before the Pope, in which it was assumed 
on the English side that these acts of homage were for 


the whole kingdom, while the argument on the Scottish 
side is contained in two documents which Fordun has 
preserved, viz., the " Instructiones '' sent b^the Scottish 
Government to their Commissioners in Eome, and the 
"'Processus contra figmenta regis Anghae,"' by Baldred 
Bisset, one of their Commissioners. The Pope again inter- 
posed in 1317, but this was after the battle of Bannock- 
burn had been fought, and Eobert Bruce had firmly estab- 
lished himself as independent king of Scotland. The 
Pope's interposition was on behalf of England, but he was 
met by an assertion of the independence of Scotland. At 
the same time, another chronicle makes its appearance, 
and, in this chronicle, which is the fifth of the later 
chronicles, the form is again altered and a difierent 
attempt made to reconcile the conflicting statements 
between the chronicles in their later form and the 

This chronicle^ places the list of the Pictish kings 
from " Gruchne filius Kenne " to Drust son of Ferach 
first, but, with the three previous chronicles, contains the 
alteration by which the reigns of Drust and Alpin, and 
part of that of Angus son of Fergus, are suppressed, 
and the fictitious Garnard son of Ferath, with a reign of 
twenty-four years, substituted. Then follows ''Summa 
annorum quibus regnaverunt ante Scotos mille ducenti 
et xxxix anni et iiii menses/' Then follow the kings 
of Dalriada with this title '' Summa regum Ixv." These 
kings begin with " Fergus filius Here,'' and go down to 
"Alpin filius Heochet." They contain the five kings 
interjected between Ainbhcellach and Selvach. After 

^ Chron. Picts and Scots, No. xxxvi. p. 285. 


Alpin comes the sentence, "Et tunc translatnm est 
regnum Scotorum ad terram Pictorum/' wliich betrays 
the artificial character of the difierences in this chronicle ; 
for this passage, appropriate when the Dalriadic kings 
were placed before the Pictish kingdom, is no longer so 
when they come after, and are followed immediately by 
the Scottish kingdom founded by Kenneth mac Alpin. 
We have then this sentence, " Summa annorum a tem- 
pore Fergus filius Here ad tempus Alpin ccc et vii 
anni et tres menses,'' and then follows " Kenneth filius 
Alpin " and his successors down to the death of Alex- 
ander III. After Kenneth we have the sentence, *' Hie 
mira calliditate duxit Scotos de Ergadia in terram 
Pictorum," and, in place of the broad assertion that his 
fourth successor. Grig, conquered all Ireland and nearly 
all England, we find the sentence thus expressed : " Hie 
subjugavit sibi totam Berniciam et fere Angliam," and 
the chronicle concludes with this sentence, " Summa 
annorum a tempore Kinet usque ad tempus Alexandri 
ultimi Dlxvii. et siluit terra sine rege tot annis quot 

This chronicle corresponds closely with the chronicles 
of 1187 and of St. Andrews in the lists of the kings, 
but alters their relative position, by bringing back the 
Dalriadic kings to the period in which they were placed 
by the chronicle of 1165 ; but the 'alteration is not a 
genuine one, as appears from the chronicle itself, and the 
change of Hibernia to Bernicia rather indicates the 
influence which dictated it, as proceeding from the Gaelic 
part of the population. 

Tlic appearance of this chronicle was followed three 


years after by tlie celebrated letter of the Barons of 
Scotland to tbe Pope in 1320, vindicating the indepen- 
dence of Scotland. In tbis letter the statement is made 
that the kingdom of Scotland " bad been governed by 
an uninterrupted succession of one hundred and thirteen 
kings, all of our own native and royal stock, without the 
intervening of any stranger,"^ and that the Scots were 
converted to Christianity by St. Andrew the Apostle, 
the introduction of whose relics, according to the tract 
which appeared in 1165, had been removed back to the 
fourth century. As the number of kings who reigned 
in Scotland during what may be termed the historical 
period, from Kenneth mac Alpin to Eobert Bruce, in 
whose reign this letter was written, did not exceed, under 
any computation, thirty, this leaves upwards of eighty 
kings to be accounted for. It is obvious, therefore, that 
this computation is founded upon the genealogy and not 
upon any list of kings, and assumes that to a remote 
period, even beyond the era of Forgo or Fergus son of 
Feradaig, who is only forty-five generations removed from 
Kenneth mac Alpin, these names represented ancient kings 
of Scotland, an assumption that gave a latitude for such 
statements, of which the barons availed themselves with- 
out much moderation. 

Seven years after this, in the year 1327, peace was 
finally concluded between England and Scotland, and 
the English kiug, by a formal instrument ratified by the 
English Parliament, renounced all claim of superiority 
over Scotland, and declared " that the said kingdom, 

1 In qTiorum regno centum et tresdecem reges de ipsorum regali prosapia, 
nullo alienigena interveniente, regnaverunt. — Chron. Picts and Scots, p. 292, 


according to its ancient boundaries observed in the days 
of Alexander in., should remain unto Robert king of 
Scots, and unto his heirs and successors, free and divided 
from the kingdom of England without any subjection, 
right of service, claim, or demand whatever ; and that all 
writings which might have been executed at any time to 
the contrary, should be held as void and of no eflfect." 
This practically and to all real intents and purposes 
terminated the great controversy between the two coun- 
tries, and the question involved in it passed from the 
field of political discussion into the domain of historical 
speculation, and became more a subject of theoretical 
inquiry, though still one of national interest, in which 
national feeling was keenly involved though the inde- 
pendence of the kingdom no longer depended on it. 

The chronicles then which appeared from the acces- 
sion of William the Lion in 1165 to this event in 1327, 
viz., the Chronicles of 1 1 6 5, and of 1 1 8 7, the Chronicle of 
St. Andrews, that contained in the Scalachronica and the 
Chronicle of 1317, form the second group of historical 
documents, and the sketch which has just been given 
of them and of the various changes they underwent 
during the 160 years which elapsed from the one event 
to the other, and the influences which gave rise to these 
changes, will show how little they are to be depended upon 
in attempting a reconstruction of the early history of 
Scotland. They may possibly contain, in their state- 
ments, a germ of historic truth. So far as they preserve 
the lists contained in the older documents, they may be 
trustworthy, but the connexion in which they are re- 
corded is quite artificial, and they have been constmcted 


in order to present tlie early history of the country in a 
false aspect.-^ 

Upon these chronicles, however, the early history 
of Scotland has been based by all the more recent 
historians of Scotland who have entered upon that 
portion of the history at all, from the ponderous 
Caledonia of George Chalmers down to the latest 
history of Scotland. The only historian who has esti- 
mated correctly the value and superior claims of the 
earlier documents, and saw somewhat of their true 
bearing upon the early history, was John Pinkerton, but 
they were to a very limited extent accessible to him. He 
obtained a correct copy of the Pictish Chronicle, but the 
Synchronisms of Flann Mainistrech were unknown to 
him. Of the Irish additions to Nennius, he had an im- 
perfect and incorrect extract, and their meaning was 
perverted by a bad translation. The Albanic Duan he 
possessed, but unfortunately he altered the order of the 
stanzas, and the position of the two kings Dungal and 
Alpin, and placed the stanza containing them imme- 
diately before that in which Kenneth mac Alpin ap- 
pears, from an idea that one of the leading differences 
between it and the later chronicles arose from a mistake of 
the transcriber, — an idea which the Synchronisms of Flann 
would have corrected, if he had possessed them, and thus 
prevented him from missing the full bearing of the Duan. 
The great work of Doctor O'Connor, containing the 
Annals of Tighernach, Inisfallen, Ulster, and the Four 
Masters, had not been published, and he only knew 

1 The table in the notes, p. 403, will show the two groups of Chronicles 
contrasted, so far as the kings of Dalriada are concerned. 


wliat the Annals of Tighernac contained tlirougli an 
inaccurate transcript of the Annals of Ulster which 
usually repeat his statements, in the British Museum, and 
a translation published by Johnstone in his " Antiqui- 
tates Celto-Normanicae." Still it is remarkable how near 
to the truth he came, and his conclusions would probably 
have met with more general acceptance had he not 
identijfied himself so thoroughly with a theory of early 
Teutonic settlements, and of the Teutonic origin of the 
early population, and displayed so unreasoning a pre- 
judice against everything Celtic, that the calmer and 
more elaborate production of George Chalmers, with its 
quiet adoption of the later chronicles as the basis of the 
history, has recommended itself more to the general 
reader, and more greatly influenced the views of later 
historians. These later chronicles, with the genealogy 
which first appeared in 1165, formed part of the 
materials which Fordun endeavoured to weld into a 
consistent narrative, by which the highest antiquity 
was to be given to the Scottish nation. 

John of Fordun must have been born not long 
before or after the commencement of the fourteenth 
century. The last of these Chronicles appeared while 
he was a young man, and he was probably already in 
priest's orders, when the claims of England to a superio- 
rity over Scotland were finally surrendered in 1327. 
The circumstances which led him to devote himself 
to the work of compiling a histiory of his native country, 
we are not sufficiently acquainted with his life to be 
able to guess, but the Church of St. Andrews had 
always been associated with the production and preserva- 


tion of these early historical documents, and his name 
indicates his connexion with that diocese. The great 
Eegister of the Priory of St. Andrews had been compiled 
between 1313 and 1332, and contained documents con- 
nected with the early annals of Scotland, as well as a 
" Historia ^' which may have attracted his attention, and 
the work of Eanulph Higden, which appeared at inter- 
vals from 1327 to his death in 1363, and gave to the 
world a general history of England which acquired at 
once great popularity, may have led him to plan a 
similar work, and to do for Scotland what Higden had 
done for England. 

But he did not at once attempt so great and 
laborious a work as to compile a complete and systematic 
history of the country from the earliest period. The 
object he seems first to have proposed to himself was a 
history of the descendants of the Saxon princess Mar- 
garet, who by her marriage with Malcolm Canmore had 
brought into the Scottish Eoyal line the representation 
of the ancient Saxon monarchs. This work was based 
upon Ailred's " Genealogia regum," which Fordun seems 
at first to have attributed to Turgot, and contained 
copious extracts from that work, to which is added the 
events of the reigns of Margaret's sons to the death of 
David L, and this was followed by Annals of Scotland 
from the accession of Malcolm iv. to the year 1363, in 
which it appears to have been compiled — curiously 
enough both the year in which Higden died, and a,t 
which the contemporary work called the " Scalachronica " 
terminates. He then seems to have enlarged his plan so 
as to make it form a complete history of Scotland from 


the accession of Malcolm Canmore,and to have thrown the 
earlier part prior to the death of David i. into the form in 
which it now appears in the fifth book, and this he 
termed " Chronica regni Scotiae ; '' and finally, he seems 
to have resolved to compile a complete history of Scot- 
land from the earliest times, and to have taken as his 
model Higden's Polychronicon which had now become 
very widely knowm. For this purpose, he had to com- 
mence by an extensive research into the materials 
available for such a work, and research in those days 
meant visiting all the monasteries and other repositories 
of manuscripts, and laboriously collecting local materials 
from place to place. Nearly twenty years appear to have 
been spent in this work, and then John of Fordun com- 
piled the first four books, added three chapters to the 
fifth book, and would probably have elaborated the 
Annals into two more books, thus throwing the whole 
into seven books in imitation of Higden, when he 
seems to have been arrested in his work by death, 
in the year 1385, leaving his materials in the shape 
in which they now appear in the first volume of this 

In constructing his scheme of the early history of 
Scotland, Fordun has evidently taken for its basis the 
genealogy deducing the kings of Scotland tln-ough 
a long line of Celtic ancestors from Gaedil Glass, whom 
he calls Gaythelos, the eponymits of the Gaelic race, which 
first appeared at the accession of William the Lion and 
again at the coronation of Alexander iii. To this, as a 
connecting link, he adapts the later chronicles which 
appeared from time to time in their various forms — the 
earlier and more authentic documents he either was 


ignorant of or ignored — and endeavours to form one 
uniform scheme out of them ; and he harmonizes this 
scheme with such notices as he can adapt to his purpose 
from the Eoman writers, and such authors as Giraldus 
Cambrensis, Geoffrey of Monmouth, and others. In 
doing so, he uses to a considerable extent the same class 
of writers and the same kind of materials, as were 
employed by Higden in his Polychronicon, and very 
much in the same manner. And wherever he finds the 
word Scotia in these writers, he applies it to Scotland, 
and thus adopts into his history events which properly 
belong to Ireland, while by this process he materially 
aids his scheme of an early settlement of Scots in this 

It is only when we follow in detail the manner in 
which he has worked out this plan that we see the great 
skill with which it has been done, considering the limited 
extent of real information he possessed, and the scanty 
materials at his disposal. 

Beginning with Gaedil Glass, or Gaythelos, the epony- 
mus of the race, and Scota their female ancestor, by 
which the country in which they settled is usually 
typified, he connects the names in the genealogy with 
a fictitious narrative of the emigration of the race from 
Egypt to Spain, and thence to Ireland, based to some 
extent upon the Irish traditions, but differing in several 
leading particulars from them. He then brings the Scots 
over from Ireland to Scotland under a leader, Ethachius 
Rothay, whom he finds in the genealogy several genera- 
tions before Forgo or Fergus son of Feradaig — the resem- 
blance of the name of Rothay to that of Rothesay in the 
island of Bute having apparently suggested it. His object 


was of course to give the Scots as early a settlement in 
Scotland as he could. He adopts the statement of the 
Chronicle in the Scalachronica, that the first king of the 
Scots who preceded the Picts was Fergus son of Ferehard, 
whom he identifies with this Forgo son of Feradaig in the 
genealogy ; but, instead of giving him, as his successors, 
the Dalriadic kings of the sixth and seventh centuries 
according to that chronicle, he merely states generally 
that he was succeeded by forty-five kings, but he 
refrains from giving their names or the events of their 
reigns, except in two instances. Finding in the genea- 
logy three generations below Forgo, the name Eether, 
he identifies him with the Eeuda of Bede, who states 
that the Dalriads came over from Ireland to Scotland 
under him, and places a second colony of Scots from 
Ireland under Eether. He then, under a supposed king 
Eugenius, brings this colony to an end at a time 
when he finds it stated that Maximus the Eoman em- 
peror had defeated the Picts and Scots ; states that 
Maximus slew Eugenius, and expelled the Scots from 
Britain, under his brother Ethodius; and takes them 
over to Ireland in order that he may bring them back 
under Fergus mac Ere forty-three years afterwards. 

Fordun thus harmonizes that form of the Chronicle 
which places an early settlement of the Scots before the 
Christian era with the other forms of it which retain 
the foundation of the Dalriadic colony at its true period 
in the sixth century. He solves the difficulty by sup- 
posing two colonies, one at an early date under Fergus 
son of Ferehard which, after lasting till the fourth century, 
under a series of kings with two exceptions unnamed, 
comes to an end ; and a second under Fergus son of Ere, 


followed by the line of Dalriadic kings contained in the 
Chronicles in both forms. The attempt, however, to con- 
nect the termination of the first colony with Maximus 
the Eoman emperor obliges him to antedate the second 
colony about one hundred years, otherwise he would have 
left too long an interval between the two. 

In the history of the second colony, he follows closely 
the order of the kings as given in these chronicles, inter- 
polating in the early part a few fictitious kings in order 
to obtain the additional hundred years he had added to 
its commencement; much in the same manner, and with 
as easy a conscience, as the compiler of the first of these 
chronicles, that which appeared at the accession of 
William the Lion, had interpolated five kings towards 
the end of the list, in order to obtain the additional time 
necessary to bring Alpin down, so as to synchronize with 
the father of Kenneth. Fordun thus suppresses, as the 
chronicles had done before him, the period of time, ex- 
tending to a century, between Alpin and Kenneth, in 
which the Pictish king Angus mac Fergus had conquered 
Dalriada, and subjected it to his kingdom ; but it is 
remarkable enough that Fordun transfers some of the 
events which took place in this period to the fictitious 
interval which he has placed in the fourth century, between 
the first colony and the second. We there find also a 
Hurgust, son of Forgso or Fergus, who founds St. 
Andrews ; but feeling the incongruity of taking back a 
war between him and an Athelstane king of the Saxons 
to so early a period, he divides the narrative given in the 
Legend of St. Andrew into two, and relegates the latter 
part to the ninth century. 

Fordun has also constructed the personal history of 


Kenneth mac Alpin, and the supposed revolution which 
placed him on the Pictish throne, with great skill, by- 
weaving together the very valuable narrative in the 
Chronicle of Huntingdon with the more questionable 
statements in the other chronicles, so as to make a con- 
sistent narrative of a conquest of the Picts by the Scots 
of Dalriada, under their leader Kenneth, the last of a long 
line of kings of the Scots, and the first Scottish monarch 
of the whole kingdom, formed by the junction of the 
territories of the Scots, which he had inherited, with 
those of the Picts, whom he had subdued and destroyed. 

It is thus only the early part of Fordun's work which 
is tainted with this artificially constructed history. With 
the reign of Kenneth mac Alpin the historical period of 
Scottish history, in the true sense of the term, may be 
said to commence, and he had little motive to pervert 
the history of his successors, while that part of his history 
which is based upon the work he originally compiled, 
extending from the accession of Malcolm Canmore to the 
year 1363 when he put it together, and contained in his 
fifth book, and in the annals which follow, is one of great 
value and authority, and must form the basis of any 
continuous narrative of the history of that period. 

With these few remarks, sufficient to indicate the 
character of the later chronicles and other historical 
documents, and of the first detailed and systematic 
history of Scotland, founded upon them, we shall now 
leave John of Fordun to tell his own tale. 

20 Invrrlkith Row, 
Edinburgh, November 27, 1872. 









Antiquity of the Origin of the Scots — Their Exfploits — The 
Material World : that is to say, the Earth, and its Four 
Principal Points, East, West, South, and North. 

We gather from various writings of old chroniclers that 
the nation of the Scots, one of most ancient descent, sprang 
from the Greeks, and from the Egyptians who survived the 
overthrow of their fellow-countrymen and king in the Eed 
Sea. I, therefore, think it fitting to describe the local position 
of the countries of Greece and Egypt, where they were fostered, 
as well as of the other places they traversed, and of the site of 
their modem habitation, so that the reader may more clearly 
understand in what part of the globe these are situated, and 
their geographical bearings. Almighty God, the Creator and 
Euler of all things, willed in his Creation, according to the 
philosophers, that the World should be round, and in its mid- 
most region He placed the Earth, the mother, nurse, and abode 
of all animate, material, and rational things ; separated, as a 
central point, from all parts of the heavens by an equal interval. 
But the material world, that is, the Earth, is girt in on all sides 
by the waters of the boundless sea, called the Ocean, and is en- 
croached upon, broken into, and indented, by variously shaped 
arms of this sea ; with the moisture of which it is soaked through 
hidden passages, lest it should be altogether reduced to dust 
through excessive drought. The World, moreover, has four 

VOL. 11. A 


principal points or parallels equidistant from eacli other — that 
is, East, West, South, and North ; and from these are said to pro- 
ceed the four Cardinal Winds, with their eight Collateral Winds. 


The Four Cardinal Winds, with their Eight Collaterals; and the 
Summit of the Material World, the Terrestrial Paradise in 
the East. 

The first point, or cardinal wind, is in the east, where the 
sun rises, under the vernal equinox, and is called Subsolanus. 
This wind has two collaterals, Vulturnus towards the north, 
and Eurus towards the south. The second point, or cardinal 
wind, is situated in the west, where the sun sets, under the 
autumnal equinox, and is called Favonius ; which also has two 
collaterals, namely, Circius towards the north, and Zephyrus 
towards the south. The third point, or cardinal wind, is 
Auster, and is situated under the antarctic pole of the summer 
solstice, where the sun rises highest at mid-day ; it has two 
collateral winds, viz., Nothus towards the east, and Africus to- 
wards the west. The fourth point, or cardinal wind, is Boreas, 
under the arctic pole of the winter solstice, where the sun 
descends lowest at midnight ; aind this has likewise two col- 
lateral winds, Aquilo towards the west, and Chorus towards the 
east. The Earth, or material world, begins in the east, under 
the cardinal point Subsolanus, its summit being the terrestrial 
paradise, a most delicious place of flowers and trees, redolent 
with all sweetness. It is uninhabitable for men, however, on 
account of Adam's sin ; but it is accessible to good spirits and 
glorified souls. This spot rises so high above the level of the 
earth, that the universal Deluge, which far overtopped the peaks 
of the mountains, could not reach it. 


The Three unequally divided Portions of the World, and the 
Inland Sea. 

The world, according to Isidore, is divided into three un- 
equal parts : Asia, Africa, apd Europe. It is thus said to be 
divided, because a very large gulf of the ocean, flowing in from 
the westward, or Favonius, and, dividing its north-western from 
its southern shore, reaches nearly to the middle of the world, 


and, forming there an angular gulf, directs its course straight 
to the ocean northwards, towards the arctic pole, between Asia 
and the eastern boundary of Europe. Asia, which is believed 
to be one half of the globe, is named after a certain woman, who, 
according to Isidore, formerly ruled the East ; stretching from 
the north, through the east, as far as the south, it is bounded 
on the east by the rising sun, on the south by the ocean, on the 
west by the inland sea, and on the north, nearly under the pole, 
by the lake Mseotis. Europe is said to be named after Europa, 
daughter of Agenor, king of Lybia, whom Jupiter carried off 
from Africa and brought to Crete ; and he named one of the 
three portions of the earth after her. It begins at this same 
lake Mseotis, and stretches through the northern ocean as far 
as the west and the sea of Gades, while its eastern and southern 
portion, starting from Pontus, is washed along its whole extent 
by the Inland Sea, and is terminated at these same straits of 
Gades. Africa, the remaining third part of the world, is said 
to be opposite Asia and Europe, although it is smaller in extent, 
according to Isidore, than either, but richer and of more ad- 
mirable quality, in proportion to its size. It is so called from 
Afer, one of the descendants of Abraham and Keturah,who is said 
to have led an army against Lybia, and, after having vanquished 
his enemies, to have settled there, and called his descendants 
Africans. It commences at the confines of Asia, in the south, 
and stretches through the southern ocean as far as Mount Atlas. 
It is bounded on the north by the Inland Sea, and terminates 
also at the straits of Gades. And thus Asia by itself occupies 
one half of the world, while Europe and Africa occupy the other, 
being cut in two by a great sea which flows in between them 
from the ocean. 


Division of the Three PortioTis of the World among the Three Sons 
of Noah: Sherriy Ham^ and Japhet — Position of certain 
Regions of Asia and Africa, 

The sons of Noah shared the world among themselves, after 
the Flood, in the following manner : — Shem, with his descend- 
ants, took possession of Asia, Japhet, of Europe, and Ham, of 
Africa. From them was the whole human race distributed in 
nations and kingdoms over the earth. From Shem sprang the 
Jews, and the Saracens, or rather Hagarenes ; from Japhet, the 
Gentiles, the greater part of whom are the Christians ; and from 


Ham, the Canaanites, who, by the curse of Noah, are doomed 
to expulsion from the place of their habitation. These three 
portions of the world contain many different regions, the whole 
of which I by no means propose to describe, but those only 
which seem necessary to the work I have undertaken, or which, 
on account of the reverence due to their patron saints, deserve 
especial honour ; as, for instance, the holy city of Jerusalem, 
and the city of Eome. The first region of Asia, on the east, is, 
according to Vincentius, the Terrestrial Paradise ; but it is un- 
known to us. Then comes India, under the rising sun. In the 
extreme north is Upper Scythia; and, in the extreme south, 
Egypt, whence, as old chroniclers have written, the Scots partly 
had their origin. Between these countries, that is, Egypt and 
Scythia, is situated the district of Jerusalem, where is the site of 
the holy city Jerusalem, in which the Son of God, God and Man, 
Jesus Christ, Our Lord, suffered for the salvation of all men. 
The first region of Africa, on the east, is Cyrenian Lybia, adjoin- 
ing the borders of Egypt. On the south is Upper Ethiopia, and 
the last land towards the west is Lower Ethiopia. For Ethiopia 
is threefold: its western portion being mountainous, beginning at 
Mount Atlas ; its middle portion, sandy, and its eastern, a desert. 
By the Inland Sea, on the northern coast, is the country of 
Zeugis, where Carthage formerly stood, and this is Africa 


Position of certain Regions of Europe : namely, Scythia, 
Greece, and the City of Rmne. 

I MUST now endeavour to describe certain regions of 
Europe, of which Ptolemy, in his Tripertita Nova, speaks as 
follows : — Europe comprises, next to Asia, most of the habit- 
able earth ; nay, in proportion to its size, it is more populous 
than any other part of the earth. The first region of Europe is 
Lower Scythia, which begins from the Riphaean mountains and 
the lake Mseotis, at the arctic pole, between the Danube and 
the northern ocean, and extends as far as Germany. On the 
east of it is the Inland Sea, which is there called the Baltic, 
from Balth, the place where it flows into the land from the 
ocean. From this region, according to some, came forth the 
Plots of Albion. Next, on the shores of the Inland Sea, and in 
the sea towards the south, are the seven provinces of the 
Greeks, wliich were formerly kingdoms, namely, Dalmatia, 


Epirus, Hellas, which is also called Attica (where stood Athens, 
the mother of the liberal arts, and the nurse of the philosophers), 
Thessaly, Macedon, Achaia, and Crete, in the sea, which was 
formerly also called Centopolis; and the islands of the Cyclades, 
fifty-three in number, the metropolis of which is Ehodes. On 
the Achaian gulf, too, is Arcadia, which is also called Sicyonia. 
From one of these countries went forth some turbulent Greeks, 
and being intermixed with the Egyptians, formed one people, 
that of the Scots, as will appear in the sequel. On the same sea, 
likewise, towards the south, on an angular gulf which trends 
back northwards, are situated the chief Eoman countries, ad- 
joining the sea on either side. These are Italy, Tuscia, Etruria, 
Calabria, and Apulia. Nearly in the centre of these countries 
is situated the renowned city of Kome, to which the greater 
part of the world was formerly subject ; and in which suffered, 
and were buried, the glorious Apostles Peter, Christ's Vicar 
over the Faithful, and Paul, the teacher of the Gentiles, with 
numberless other holy martyrs, confessors, and virgins. 


The same continued — The greater Islands of Europe : 
Albion and Hihernia. 

The farthest country of Europe, on the west, is Hispania 
(Spain), or rather, the islands of Gades, which are in the ocean, 
120 paces distant from the mainland of Spain; on these formerly 
Hercules fixed his pillars. There are two Hispanias, a nearer 
and a further, comprising the various regions of Legio, Castellum, 
Navarre, Arragon, and Portugal, and the provinces of Galicia, 
the natives of which, according to Isidore, claim a Greek origin; 
and Celtiberia on the river Hyber. The Scots settled in this 
country first, for some time. Europe comprises also many large 
islands, the largest of which, Albion, lies in the ocean, to the 
north-west. Its southern, and larger, part was formerly in- 
habited by the Britons, and was called Britannia, but is now 
known as England. Its northern portion, in like manner, being 
inhabited by Scots from an early period, was called Scotia ; 
and it is now, by the help of God, the chief kingdom of the 
island. The Scots possess numerous islands, a hundred or 
more, which have belonged to them from ancient times, and 
beyond the shores thereof no land is found to the north-west, 
except, it is said, an island called Thule, at a distance of seven 
days' sail from them. A day's sail beyond this, the sea is said to 


be sluggish aud thick. Beyond Britain, also, in the ocean'between 
it and the west, is situated the island of Ireland, where the Scots 
first fixed their abode. Let this topographical description 
suffice for the present, as a preface to my task ; and let us pass 
over to the Ages of the world which elapsed before our Lord's 
Incarnation, and which must be introduced into this work. 


The Number of Years from the Beginning of the World to the 
Birth of Christy divided into Five Ages, 

The old fathers divide the years elapsed from the beginning of 
the world to the Birth of Christ into five Ages, varying, however, 
in their estimate of the duration of each. In the Ages, therefore, 
which will be hereafter recorded in this Chronicle, the computa- 
tion of years of the old translation, which is held by Holy Church, 
will be observed, until He who is the Source and Beginning of 
aU goodness. Himself without a beginning, and the end thereof. 
Himself without end, through whom this work has been begun, 
shall have brought it to an end. Now the first of these Ages, 
from the beginning of the world to the Flood, comprises 2242 
years ; the second, from the Flood to the birth of Abraham, 
942 ; the third, from Abraham to the reign of David, 940 ; the 
fourth, from the reign of David to the Babylonish captivity, 
485 ; the fifth, from the last removal of the children of Israel 
into Babylon to the Incarnation of our Lord, 590. Thus, from 
the beginning of the world to the Incarnation, the sum-total is 
5199. Whence some one has put it metrically : 

" The years of man, from our first father, shall appear. 
To Christ, two hundred and five thousand, less one year." 


The First Occasion of the Origin of the Scots ; and their First 
King Gaythelos. 

In the third Age, in the days of Moses, a certain king of 
one of the countries of Greece, Neolus, or Heolaus, by name, 
had a son, beautiful in countenance, but wayward in spirit, 
called Gaytlielos, to whom he allowed no authority in the 
kingdom. Roused to anger, and backed by a numerous band 
of youths, Gaythelos disturbed his father's kingdom by many 


cruel misdeeds, and angered his father and his people by his 
insolence. He was, therefore, driven out by force from his 
native land, and sailed to Egypt, where, being distinguished by 
courage and daring, and being of royal birth, he married Scota, 
the daughter of Pharaoh. Another Chronicle says that, in those 
days, all Egypt was overrun by the Ethiopians, who, according to 
their usual custom, laid waste the country from the mountains 
to the town of Mempliis and the Great Sea ; so that Gaythelos, 
the son of Neolus, one of Pharaoh's allies, was sent to his as- 
sistance with a large army ; and the king gave him his only 
daughter in marriage, to seal the compact. It is written in 
The Legend of St. Brandan that a certain warrior, to whom 
the chiefs of his nation had assigned the sovereignty, reigned 
over Athens in Greece ; and that his son, Gaythelos by name, 
married the daughter of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, Scota, from 
whom also the Scots derived their name. And he, that is, 
Gaythelos, who was conspicuous for strength and boldness, 
exasperated his father, and every one, by his waywardness, and, 
departing on account of the failure of his cause, rather than of 
his own accord, retired into Egypt, supported by a spirited 
band of youths. Another Chronicle, again, says : — But a certain 
Gaythelos, the grandson, it is said, of Nembricht, being unwilling 
to reign by right of succession, or because the people, assisted 
by the neighbouring nations, would not submit to his tyranny, 
left his country followed by a great crowd of young men, with 
an army. At length, harassed by many wars in various places, 
and compelled by want of provisions, he came to Egypt, and, 
having joined King Pharaoh, he strove, together with the 
Egyptians, to keep the children of Israel in perpetual bondage ; 
and he finally married Pharaoh's only daughter, Scota, with the 
view of succeeding his father-in-law on the throne of Egypt. 


The successive Kings of Egyjpt, down to Pharaoh, Scota' s Fatlier, 
who was drowned in the Bed Sea. 

The kingdom of Egypt, originally called Etherea, is, accord- 
ing to VincentiuSy the oldest of all kingdoms but that of the 
Scythians ; for we read that its rise, as well as that of Scythia, 
took place in the time of Ragau, Abraham's great -great- 
gTandfather. Thence there has long been a dispute between 
the Scythians and Egyptians, as to the antiquity of their re- 
spective races. The Scythians, however, seem to be the more 


ancient. This kingdom of Egypt lasted from the time of 
Eagau to Octavianus Augustus, not, however, continuously, 
but with a few interruptions. Some have it that the first who 
reigned over this kingdom was Pharaoh, who, as we read, built 
the city of Pharus, and after whom the subsequent kings were 
called Pharaohs. After him reigned Zoes. At the time of the 
birth of Abraham, the kingdom of Egypt was ruled by powers 
which were called dynasties. In the seventeenth dynasty, 
then, reigned the Pharaohs, one of whom, by Commestor called 
Nephres, promoted Joseph. This Pharaoh, Nephres, died in 
the thirteenth year of the administration of Joseph. He was 
succeeded by — 

The Pharaoh Amosis, who reigned twenty-five years. 

The Pharaoh Chebron, thirteen years. 

The Pharaoh Amenophis, twenty-one years. 

The Pharaoh Mephres, twenty-two years, in whose ninth 
year died Joseph. 

The Pharaoh Mispharmotosis, twenty-six years. 

The Pharaoh Authomosis, nine years. 

Ammenophis, thirty-one years, whose daughter Theremuch, 
in the twenty-sixth year of his reign, took the infant Moses out 
of the water, and adopted him as her son; after which this 
Ammenophis reigned five years. 

The Pharaoh Horns, thirty-eight years. 

The Pharaoh Accentris, twelve years. 

The Pharaoh Athorisis, seven years. 

The Pharaoh Chencres, eighteen years. He was swallowed 
up in the Red Sea, while pursuing the children of Israel. His 
daughter was Scota, wife of Gaythelos before mentioned. 


The Period at which the Scots had their Origin, and from 
whom; and their Outlawry from Egypt. 

Three thousand six hundred and eighty-nine years after the 
beginning of the world, in the five hundred and fifth year of 
the third Age, three hundred and thirty years before the taking 
of Troy, seven hundred and sixty years before the building of 
Rome, in the year 1510 B.C. (or as others put it — 
" One thousand and five hundred years, and seventy, less one, 
Before the birth, as I have found, of God's incarnate Son, 
Was Pharaoh, following the Jews, in the Red Sea undone ") 
the above-mentioned Pharaoh was swallowed up, with his army 


of 600 chariots, 50,000 horse, and 200,000 foot ; while the sur- 
vivors, who remained at home, hoping to be released from the 
tax of grain formerly introduced by Joseph in the time of 
famine, suddenly drove clean out of the kingdom, with his 
followers, lest he should usurp dominion over them, the king's 
son-in-law Gaythelos Glas, who had refused to pursue the in- 
offensive Hebrews. Thus, then, the assembled villagers cruelly 
expelled from their midst, by a servile insurrection, all the 
nobles of the Greeks, as well as those of the Egyptians, whom 
the greedy sea had not swallowed up. We read in another 
Chronicle : — After the army was gone, Gaythelos remained be- 
hind in the city of Heliopolis, by a plan arranged between him 
and King Pharaoh, in case he should have to succeed him in 
his kingdom. But the remainder of the Egyptian people, per- 
ceiving what befell their king, and, at the same time, being on 
their guard lest, once subject to the yoke of a foreign tyranny, 
they should not be able to shake it off again, gathered together 
their forces, and sent word to Gaythelos that, if he did not 
hasten, as much as possible, his departure from the kingdom, 
endless mischief would result to him and his without delay. 


Gaythelos is elected King, and sets out for the West. 

Now Gaythelos, since he was the king's son-in-law, and the 
most noble of all, is set up as king over them by the expelled 
nobles of both nations. But, although attended by a numerous 
army, he cautiously came to the conclusion that he could not 
withstand the hosts of so great a multitude of furious enemies ; 
and knowing, also, that the path of his return into Greece was 
closed to him, on account of the crimes he had formerly 
perpetrated there, he decided, to a certain extent, indeed, by 
the advice of his officers, that he either would seize from some 
other nation a kingdom and lands, and dwell there in continual 
warfare, or, by the favour of the gods, would only seek out 
some desert place to take possession of, for a settlement. This 
they all in concert swore to put into due execution, as far as 
they were able. Having, therefore, appointed Gaythelos their 
leader, the banished nobles, impelled to some extent by a 
youthful craving for adventure, soon made ready a good-sized 
fleet, laden with provisions in store and the other necessaries 
for an expedition, to go in quest of new lands to settle in, on 
the uttermost confines of the world, hitherto, as they imagined. 


unoccupied. Another Chronicle says : — Gaythelos, therefore, 
assembled his retainers, and, with his wife Scota, quitted 
Egypt ; and as, on account of an old feud, he feared to retrace 
his steps to those parts whence he had come into Egypt, he 
bent his course westwards, where, he knew, the inhabitants 
against whom he would have to struggle with his men, un- 
skilled as these were in the use of arms, were fewer and less 
warlike. Another Chronicle has the following account : — At 
length all was ready ; and Gaythelos, with his wife and whole 
family, and the other leaders, trusting to the direction of their 
gods, embark, in boats, on board ships prepared for them ; and 
when the sailors, with busy diligence, had weighed anchor, and 
cast off the warps, the sails are spread wide to the blasts of the 
winds. Then, sailing out into the inland channel, they made 
for the western tracts of the world, with prows cutting the waves 
of the sea between the southern limits of Europe and Africa. 


Stay made hy Gaythelos in Africa; and cause of his first 
repairing to Spain, 

Gaythelos then, having wandered through many provinces, 
and made various halts in such spots as he found convenient, 
because he knew that the people he led, burdened as they were 
with wives and children, and much baggage, were distressed 
beyond measure, entered Africa by the river Ansaga, and rested 
in quiet, for some time, in a province of Numidia, though the 
dwellers in that country have no habitation where they can be 
sure of quiet. For the forty years, therefore, that the children 
of Israel dwelt in the desert, under Moses, Gaythelos himself, 
also, with his followers, wandered, now here, now there, through 
many lands ; but at length, leaving Africa, he embarked in such 
ships as he could then get, and went over into Spain, near the 
islands of Gades. Another Chronicle tells us : — Thus, indeed, 
wandering hither and thither, they kept traversing, for a long 
time, many unknown parts of the sea ; and, forasmuch as they 
were driven about by the violence of contrary winds, they were 
exposed to many dangers, and various risks, until, at length, 
just as they were being pinched by w^ant of provisions, they 
unexpectedly arrive safely in some part of the coast of Spain. 
There the ships were laid up, made fast to moorings which 
had been laid down. 



Reason alleged hy some for the Departure from Egypt of Gay- 
thelos, and the rest who went away from th-e same cause. 

It is maintained, however, elsewhere, that many Egyptians 
as well as Greek foreigners, panic-stricken, not through fear 
of man only, as said above, but rather by dread of the gods, 
fled far from Egypt and their native country. Seeing the terrible 
plagues and wonders with which they had been afflicted, through 
Moses, they feared exceedingly, neither durst they remain there 
longer. For, as the regions of Sodom and Gomorrah, with their 
people, had, of old, been reduced to ashes, on account of their 
sins, so they expected that Egypt, with its inhabitants, 
would suddenly be overthrown. This is also evident from the 
Historia Scholastica, where it is said : — Many of the Egyptians, 
indeed, fearing that Egypt would be destroyed, went forth ; of 
whom Cecrops, crossing over into Greece, built the town of 
Athen, which was afterwards called Athens. It is believed, 
also, that Dionysian Bacchus, in that season, going forth out 
of Egypt, built the city of Argos, in Greece, and gave to Greece 
the use of the vine. Whether, indeed, she was led, in this 
wise, of her own accord, by fear of the gods, or forcibly com- 
pelled by her enemies (but it was certainly in one or other of 
these two ways), it is taught that Scota, with her husband, 
followed by a large retinue, went forth in terror out of Egypt. 
Grosseteste says : — In the olden time there went out of Egypt 
Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, with her husband, by name 
Gay el, and a very large company. For they had heard the 
evils which were to come upon the Egyptians, and thus through 
the commands or the answers of the gods, flying from plagues 
which were to come, they launched out into the sea, intrusting 
themselves to the governance of their gods. And they, cruis- 
ing thus, for many days, through the seas, with wavering 
minds, at length, on account of the inclement weather, were 
glad to bring up on a certain coast. 


Row Gaythelos ohtained his first Settlement in Spain. 

In the meantime, being harassed by the long fatigues of the 
sea, they hastened to the land of Spain, for the sake of obtain- 


ing food and rest. But the natives hastily assemble from 
every side ; and, brooking ill the arrival of the new-comers, 
propose to withstand them by force of arms. They are soon 
engaged in battle, and, after a desperate struggle, the natives 
are overcome and put to flight. The victory thus gained, Gay- 
thelos pursues the natives; and, having plundered part of the 
surrounding country, he returned to the shore, and pitched 
his tents, surrounded by a mound, on a certain hillock on 
rising ground, where he could more safely oppose the attack- 
ing columns of the enemy. He there afterwards, the natives 
having been subdued for a while, built by degrees a very 
strong town, by name Brigancia, in the middle of which he 
erected a tower of exceeding height, surrounded by a deep 
ditch, which is still to be seen. He thus passed all the 
days of his life there, harassed by the continual assaults of 
war, and perpetually entangled in the various chances of fortune. 
The Legend of Saint Brandan says : —But Gay thelos, driven 
out of Egypt, and thus sailing through the Mediterranean Sea, 
brings to in Spain; and, building, on the river Hyber, a tower, 
Brigancia by name, he usurped by force from the inhabitants 
a place to settle in. 


On Account of the continual Slaughter of his People there y Gay- 
thelos sends out Explorers to search for Lands out at Sea — 
Their Return when they had discovered a certain Lsland. 

Meanwhile, being there troubled by annoyances of many 
kinds, Gaythelos, whose whole attention was engrossed in 
the guardianship of his people, as became a useful and careful 
chief, foresaw that there was no other fate in store for him 
there than that he himself, with his tribe, should either be 
blotted out from off the face of the whole earth, or subjected to 
the yoke of a perpetual slavery, by the powerful tribes of Spain; 
for though it very often had happened that he had inflicted 
very great slaughter on his adversaries, he had never, however, 
gained even one victory without loss to his small tribe, which, 
far from increasing, he foresees will ratlier be diminished by 
daily and continual wasting; and thus, forecasting with watchful 
care, he pondered in his mind this continual slaughter, which 
even threatened dispersion, and what steps he should take in con- 
sequence ; and at length, debating within himself, he perceived 
that he deserved to suffer the difficulties he had incurred ; for, 
inasmuch as he had renounced the design he had originally 


formed, on consideration, namely, to seek out unoccupied lands, 
without bringing injury upon any one, and had besides insulted 
territory held from heaven by another people, he feared that he 
had thus given manifold offence to his own gods. Minded, there- 
fore, to return to the plan he had before conceived in Egypt, he, 
with the advice of his council, calls the seamen together, and 
straightway directs them, being provided with arms, and boats 
provisioned with victuals, to explore the boundless ocean, in 
search of some desert land. They duly put off to the ships, set 
sail, and leave the coast of Spain ; and, leaving behind them the 
places they knew, enter an unknown sea. After a most speedy 
passage, by the favour of the gods, they perceive, looming up 
afar off, an island washed by the sea on all sides ; and having 
reached it, and put into the nearest harbour, they make the 
circuit of the island, to explore it. When they had examined 
it as thoroughly as they could, they row quickly back to Brig- 
ancia, bringing their King Gaythelos tidings of a certain most 
beautiful tract of land, discovered in the ocean. 


Same continued — He exhorts his Sons to go to that Island. 

Now Gaythelos, since he was unacceptable to the inhabitants, 
looking forth, one clear day, from Brigancia, and seeing land far 
out at sea, arms some active and warlike youths, and directs 
them to explore it in three boats ; and they commit themselves 
to the high seas. They, at length, against a northerly wind, 
came in a body to the island, and, rowing round it to re- 
connoitre, attacked the inhabitants they found, and slew 
them. And, thus, having explored the land, and admired its 
goodliness, they return to Brigancia. But Gaythelos, overtaken 
by sudden death, exhorted his sons, and impressed upon them 
that they should do their best to get possession of the afore- 
said land, charging them with both slothfulness and cowardice 
if they gave up so noble a kingdom, and one which they could 
penetrate into without war or danger. " Whatever happen to 
me," said he, " you will be able, they say, to make this island 
your habitation. When we, driven by want of food, arrived in 
this country, our gods gave us the victory over the opposing 
inhabitants ; and justly so, had we, as soon as our ships had 
been provisioned, set sail and gone to this island, which the 
gods now offer us, or to one, like it, devoid of inhabitants. We 
therefore deserve to suffer these adversities of ours, because we 


have been nowise careful to obey the just wishes of the gods. 
In these parts, I think, the possession of property is difi&cult to 
acquire, unless it be purchased at too dear a price, namely, by 
slavish subjection, or by the death of us all — far be it from us ! 
But it is both pleasanter, and more praiseworthy, for us to suffer 
death bravely in battle, than, barely dragging on an ignoble 
existence, to die daily, miserably fettered under the burden of 
an execrable subjection. For he, on whose neck, as on that of 
the ass, is imposed the yoke of continual slavery, is by no 
means worthy the name of man. Now, therefore, my sons, 
gratefully accept the gift the gods offer you, and go without 
delay to the island prepared for you, where,^ou shall be able 
to live noble and free ; for it is the highest nobleness of man, 
and the one delight, of all things most desired by every gentle 
heart, nay, the one gem which deserves to be preferred to all 
the jewels in the world, to endure the sway of no foreign 
ruler, but to submit voluntarily to a hereditary power of one's 
own nation." 


HyheTi the Son of Gaythelos, goes to the Island and takes Posses- 
sion of it — It is afterwards called Hibemia after him, 

Hyber, therefore, having heard his father's words, went, with 
his brother Hymec, to the foresaid island, with a fleet, and took 
it, not by force, but untenanted, as some would have it, by a 
single inhabitant; and, making it over, when taken, to his brother 
and his family, he returned to Spain. Some, indeed, relate that 
giants inhabited that island at first ; and this, also, is Geoffroy 
of Monmouth's account in his Chronicle, when commemorating 
the deeds of Aurelius Ambrosius, in the seventh book, where 
he writes as follows : Geoffroy.^'* Send for the Giants' Ring,'* 
said Merlin to Aurelius, " which is on GaUaraus, a mountain 
in Ireland," etc. At these words* of his, Aurelius burst into 
laughter, saying, " How is it possible to convey the vast stones 
of that Ring from so distant a country, as if Britain lacked 
stones?" To this Merlin retorted: "Do not, oh king! in- 
dulge in idle laughter, for my words are not idle. Those stones 
are mystical, and of a medicinal virtue. The giants of old 
brought them away from the farthest coasts of Africa, and 
placed them in Ireland, while they inhabited that country. 
Their design was to make baths under them, when they should 
be taken with any illness." Thus spake he. The Legend of St, 


Brandan says : — Now one of the sons of Gaythelos, Hyber by 
name, a young man, but valiant for his years, being incited to 
war by his spirit, took up arms, and, having prepared such a 
fleet as he could, went to the foresaid island, and slew part of 
the few inhabitants he found, and part he subdued. He thus 
appropriated that whole land as a possession for himself and his 
brethren, calling it Scotia, from his mother's name. Grosseteste 
writes: — And because their princess herself, the most noble of all 
who were present, was called Scota, they called that part of the 
land which they reached first, that is, Oylister (Ulster), Scotia. 
But afterwards, says a Legend, from that same King Hyber, or 
rather from the Hyberian sea, they caUed it Hibernia. From 
Chronicles we learn : — Hyber, therefore, by his frequent voyages 
to the island, and back again as often through the sea, left an 
eternal designation, from his own name, to that same sea, as well 
as to the island. That is, just as the sea was thenceforth called 
the Hyberian sea, so also was the island, either from that very 
king, or from the sea, always, up to the present day, called Hiber- 
nia. Some writers, again, relate that the river Hyber, which, also, 
took its name from that very king, as we read, gave to the whole 
of Spain the name of Hyberia. But Januensis has written that 
the nearer Spain was at first called Hyberia, but the farther, 
Hesperia, either from the star Hesperus, which shines in that 
part of the heavens, or from the brother of Atlas, King Hesperus, 
who, driven out by his brother, occupied Italy, and called it 
Hesperia from his own name, or the name of the former region 
which he had left. 


WTiat the learned Isidore and the Venerable Bede have written 
about Hibernia. 

Januensis, it is true, lays it down that Hibernia is derived 
from Hiems, because the winter is there peculiarly severe. All 
the historians, however, who make mention of this island, have 
written otherwise. Bede says : — Hibernia is the largest island 
of all, next to Britain, and is situated to the west of it. But as 
it is shorter than Britain towards the north, so, on the other 
hand, stretching out far beyond its confines to the south, it 
reaches as far as opposite the north of Spain, although a great 
sea lies between them. But this island much excels Britain, 
both in being broader and in the wholesomeness and serenity 
of its climate. For the snow rarely lies there more than 

16 JOHN OF fordun's chkonicle 

three days ; no one either cuts hay, in summer, for winter's 
provision, or builds stables for his beasts of burden. There no 
reptile is wont to be seen, no serpent can live. For, if serpents 
are brought thither from elsewhere, as soon as they begin to 
scent that air, they die. On the contrary, almost all the pro- 
duce of the island is good against poison. It is an island rich 
in milk and honey, nor devoid of vineyards and birds, and it is 
renowned for the chase of deer and goats. Hibernia, writes 
Isidore^ is an island of the ocean, in Europe, near the island of 
Britain, narrower in extent, but a more fertile region. This 
island stretches from south to north, its southern parts extend- 
ing into the Hyberian, or Cantabrian sea. It is exceeding 
fruitful in corn-fields, watered by springs and rivers, pleasant 
with meadows and woods, in metals plentiful, and yielding 
precious stones ; for, there, is produced the Hexagon stone, 
that is, the Iris, which, being held up to the sun, forms a rain- 
bow in the air. And as for wholesomeness of climate, Ireland 
is a very temperate country. For, there, the summer and winter 
are moderate. There is, there, no excess in cold or heat. It is a 
region where there are no snakes, few birds, and no bees ; so 
that, if one should scatter amongst beehives pebbles, or dust, 
brought from thence, the swarms desert the combs. There are, 
there, no serpents, no frogs, no poisonous spiders ; nay, the whole 
land is so adverse to poisonous things, that earth brought thence 
and sprinkled, destroys serpents and toads. Irish wool, also, and 
the skins of animals drive away poisonous things. There are, 
there, marvellous springs and lakes, whereof I will say nothing 
at present. But, in that land, there are many other wonderfid 
things, whose properties I will not describe, as it would, I 
think, beget weariness in the reader. 


The Laws which Gaythelos first taught his People. 

Gaythelos taught his people to observe the laws which 
King Phoroneus gave to the Greeks. Commestor tells us : — At 
the time when Jacob, by his mother's advice, fled to Laban, 
that is within the space of the fourteen years during which he 
served for his daughters, Phoroneus, son of Inachus and Niole, 
first gave Greece laws, appointed that causes should be pleaded 
before a judge, and established a distinct office of judge. He 
called the place of traffic forum, from his own name. His 
sister Isis, sailing to Egypt, gave certain forms of letters to the 


Egyptians, and after her death was there received into the 
number of the gods. But Phoroneus* son, king of the Argives, 
who was called Apis, when he had set his brother ^gialeus 
over Achaia, himself, with his people, sailed to Egypt, and, 
having died there, was deified by the Egyptians. At that time, 
the Egyptians had nearly the same laws and language as the 
Greeks, although they differ in many things, according to the 
different manners and customs of their respective countries and 
nations, as is found in various writings. Whence Isidore 
tells us, in the ninth book of the Etymologia, about the 
language of the Greeks: For the Greek language, which in 
the mode of pronunciation is clearer than the others, is 
divided into five parts. One, indeed, is mixed or common, 
which is used by all. The second is the Attic, which is 
called the Athenian, which all the authors or philosophers of 
Greece have used. The third, the Doric, which the Egyptians 
and Syrians used. The fourth is the Ionic. The fifth, the 
jEolic, which the ^olists used. And each of these languages 
has many species, or varieties. So in the Latin language, also, 
are comprised Ecclesiastical Latin, Italian, French, and Span- 
ish. But amongst these languages, again, a subdivision is made 
according to the mode of speaking, and the peculiar idioms, 
of provinces. Another Chronicle says : Gaythelos, indeed, 
having his memory well stocked with the laws which King 
Phoroneus had imposed on the Greeks, and which were, in his 
time, practised amongst the Egyptians, imbued therewith the 
people which followed him, and by the regulations of these 
laws he managed them wisely, and with moderation, as long as 
he lived ; whence our Scots have boasted that they have had 
the same laws up to this day. 


HybeTy tTie son of Gaythelos, succeeds to the Throne of the Scots 
dwelling in Spain after his Father's death. 

To the government, however, of the Scots remaining in 
Spain after his father's death, succeeded Hyber. His son 
Nonael succeeded him; then, indeed, the nation set up as 
their king him on whom the government had devolved by right 
of succession. For about two hundred and forty years, says 
another Chronicle, they made a stay, with sorry sustenance and 
mean clothing, amongst the Hispani, who molested them con- 
tinually. For desert and forest lands in the Pyrenean moun- 
tains were granted to them by the Hispani, so that they 



could scarcely live, sustaining life only with goats' milk and 
wild honey. In this misery, then, or worse, much time did 
that people live, dwelling in woods and hidden places, having 
nothing but what they were able to get by rapine and plunder 
(on account of which they were exceedingly detested by the 
nations around them on all sides) ; going barefoot, ill-fed, most 
meanly attired, — for they were nearly naked, but for furs, 
or hairy garments, which were their unshapely covering. And, 
in all these sufferings and straits, they could never be prevailed 
upon to be subject to, or to obey, a strange king ; but always, 
on the contrary, humble and devoted under their own king, 
they elected to lead only this beastly life, in freedom. The 
Scots, also, says Grosseteste, have always had, nearly from the 
beginning, a distinct kingdom, and a king of their own. 


Mycelius^ King of the Scots of Spain, and his Sons set out 
for Ireland. 

At length, the supreme authority came to a man equally 
energetic and industrious, that is. King Mycelius Espayn, one 
of whose ancestors had won for himself and his tribes, with their 
liberty, a place of abode, free, indeed, but too small for tribes so 
strong in numbers. The people, truly, at this time, enjoyed the 
tranquillity of a long-desired peace, which they had obtained 
from all around, and for which they had long contended. My- 
celius had three sons, named Hermonius, Pertholomus, and 
Hibertus. These then, when he had prepared a fleet, he sent 
with a numerous army to Ireland, knowing that they would find 
there a spacious, but nearly uninhabited, land to dwell in, 
though it had been settled, of old, by some small tribes of the 
same race. And when they had, a short time after, arrived 
there, and had easily taken possession of it, whether by force of 
arms, or with the consent of the inhabitants, Hermonius re- 
turned to Spain, to his father, while his brothers, Pertholomus 
and Hibertus, with their tribes, remained in the island. Another 
Chronicle writes as follows : — After the death of Gaythelos and 
Scota, and of their sons, the next of kin always succeeded 
to the chieftainship in his turn, as occasion arose, down to one 
whose proper name was Pertholomus. He, being as sagacious in 
spirit as active in underetanding, began to lament that he and 
his people could not increase nor multiply in those parts, on 
account of the very grievous and frequent molestations of the 


hostile Hispani. They, therefore, determined to escape from 
so barren a soil, which, too, they had held in misery, among 
such as reputed them the vilest of men, and to pass over to 
some more roomy place of abode, if possible. Having, at length, 
eagerly taken counsel with the elders, they come to the Gallic 
sea with bag and baggage, and having prepared ships, or 
procured them wherever they could, they commit them- 
selves to the dangers of the deep, seeking, wherever fortune 
might lead them, a sure and perpetual home, in freedom. 
Thus Pertholomus, with his family, set out for Ireland with a 
fleet, and, having subdued the natives, obtained it as a per- 
petual possession for himself. 


Geoffroy of Monmouth* s account of Bartholomus, Son of 

Among the other incidents of the History of the Britons, how- 
ever, this voyage of Pertholomus to conquer part of Ireland is 
found thus fabulously written in the third book; in which Geoffroy 
says: — Gurgunt Bartruc, king of the Britons, son of King Belinus, 
when he was returning home with a fleet, by the Orkney islands, 
after a victory obtained over the Dacians, who had denied him 
the wonted tribute, came across thirty ships full of men and 
women ; and, when he had inquired the cause of their coming, 
their leader, Pertholomus by name, came up to him, and making 
obeisance to him, desired pardon and peace. For, he said, he had 
been driven out of a district of Spain, and was wandering about 
those seas ; and he begged of him a small part of Britain to 
inhabit, that he might bring to an end his tedious wanderings 
at sea ; for a year and a half had already elapsed since, driven 
out of his own country, he had sailed about the ocean with his 
companions. When, therefore, Gurgunt Bartruc had gathered 
that they had come out of Spain, and were called Vasclenses, 
and what their request was, he sent men with them to the 
island of Ireland, which was then wholly uninhabited, and 
assigned it to them. There they increased and multiplied, and 
they have held the island to the present day. Such is Geof- 
froy's account. 



Discrepancies of Histories. 

But this seems altogether incompatible, both in fact and in 
date, with the foregoing narrative, in which it is related that 
Ireland was inhabited, and not the reverse, before the arrival 
of Pertholomus ; and that he did not get the island through 
the gift of a strange king, but that, on the contrary, being 
accepted as king, either by the power of his sword, or simply by 
the wish of the natives, he freely possessed those places, having 
been the second to form a colony there. Our histories, too, are 
far from making these kings contemporaries ; for the reign of Per- 
tholomus is related by the Chronicles to have begun in the third 
Age, about, or a little before, the days of Abdon, a judge of Israel, 
in whose sixth year the destruction of Troy is recorded to have 
occurred ; while it is said that King Gurgunt reigned in the 
fifth Age, after the first capture of the city of Eome. For, as 
Geofiroy relates. King Belinus, father of King Gurgunt, together 
with his brother Brennius, took all the chieftains of Gaul 
prisoners, or forced them to lay down their arms, within one 
year, thus bringing the provinces into subjection. Then, having 
accomplished this, they went to Eome with a strong army, 
and took it by assault, after a siege of some days, in A.U.C. 364, 
according to Eutropius. Now, according to Eusebius, the year 
of this capture is thus calculated. In the seventeenth year of 
Artaxerxes II., king of the Persians, who in the Hebrew tongue 
is called Assuerus, in whose reign, also, the history of Hester 
was written, that is in the 198th year of the fifth Age, the 
Senones Gauls, led by Brennius, attacked Eome, and took it, 
except the Capitol, and they would have taken that also in the 
darkness of night, had not a goose prevented them. The 
ascent of Gauls, writes Isidore^ was detected in the Capitol by 
the clamour of a goose. For no animal perceives, so readily as 
a goose, the scent of man. Whence Ambrose apostrophizes 
Rome as follows, in derision of the gods of the nations : — Oh, 
Eome I thou justly owest it to geese, that thou reignest ; for 
thy gods slept, while geese kept watch. To them shouldst 
thou sacrifice, rather than to Jove. Let thy gods, therefore, 
yield the palm to geese; for they are conscious they were 
themselves defended by them from capture by the enemy. 
After the capture of Eome, then, says Geoffroy, King Belinus 
left his brother Brennius there, and returned to Britain, where 
he reigned some time. For the remainder of his life, he re- 


paired dilapidated towns, and built new ones; and, on his 
death, he was succeeded by his son, Gurgunt Bartruc. It thus 
appears clearly that the latter reigned after the capture of the 


AhoiU the Time of the First Capture of Rome, not Scots, hut 
Picts, attempting a Settlement in Ireland, are sent hy the 
Scots to Albion, 

You must know, however, that in these days — that is, at the 
time of the capture of Eome — when, as is propounded by Geof- 
froy, that king lived, the Picts, journeying forth with their kin- 
dred from Pictavia, went across the British channel, in ships, to 
Ireland, that they might obtain from the Scots a residence there. 
The latter, by no means wiUing to admit them, sent them over 
to Albion, as will appear below. And of these, if I am not 
mistaken, may be understood what was written above, by Geof- 
froy, about the Scots, through the blunder of his informant. For 
these, I think, did the king, by chance meeting them wander- 
ing through the seas, advise that they should sail to the island. 
Whence the foolish babbling of the British people, glorying 
highly, perhaps, in this advice, would assert that Ireland had 
been given by their own king as a gift to this people (the 
Scots). Of this King Gurgunt, I find that a certain historian has 
written as follows : — One must admire, he says, the boldness of 
this modest and prudent King of the Britons, who had tribes of 
his own nation in such numbers at his command, that he under- 
took to subdue, or at least to harass, in perilous wars, very 
remote regions beyond the sea, regions which it was a terror, of 
old, even to the Eomans to invade, and left desert and unin- 
habited the fertile island of Ireland, so renowned as it was (for 
it was said by historians much to excel Britain), and gave it up 
to be possessed by stranger tribes. Earety are kings known to 
offer kingdoms to kinsmen they know ; more rarely to strangers 
they do not. 


Discrepancies of Histories excused. 



Third Expedition of the Scots to Ireland, Tnade hy 
Smonhricht —His Genealogy. 

In process of time there came, besides, as the Chronicles 
teach, from the confines of the Hispani to the above-mentioned 
island, a third colonist of Scottish race, whose name was, in Scot- 
tish, Smonbricht, but in Latin, Simon Varius, or Lentiginosus, 
and, there, seizing the reins of government, greatly increased the 
population of the island with fresh inhabitants. At that time, 
they say, Manasses, son of Hezekiah, reigned in Judsea. He 
began to reign in the year 364 of the fourth Age, and reigned 
fifty-five years. He was a detestable idolater, and made the 
streets of Jerusalem crimson with the blood of the prophets. 
Among his other misdeeds, he even caused Isaiah, his maternal 
grandfather, according to the Hebrews, but certainly a kinsman 
of his, to be cast out of Jerusalem, and to be sawn through the 
middle, with a wood saw, beside the pool of Siloam. When he 
was in anguish, as they began to saw him through, Isaiah asked 
them to give him water to drink ; and when they would not 
give him any, the Lord sent water from on high into his 
mouth, and he expired ; nevertheless, the executioners desisted 
not from their sawing. From this sending down of water, the 
name Siloam was confirmed, which is, being interpreted, sent. 
In the time of Manasses, likewise reigned Numa Pompilius, the 
second of the Roman kings, who succeeded Ronmlus, and first 
gave laws to the Romans. Now the above-mentioned Simon 
was the son of King Fonduf, who at that time reigned over 
the remainder of the Scots who dwelt in Spain, and he was 

The son of Etheon, 

The son of Glachus, 

The son of Noethath Fail, 

Tlie son of Elchata Olchaim, 

The son of Sirue, 

The son of Dein, 

The son of Demail, 

The son of Rothotha, 

The son of Ogmam, 

The son of Engus Olmucatha, 

The son of Frachach Labrain, 

The son of Emirnai, 

The son of Smertha, 

The son of Embatha, 


The son of Thernay, 

The son of Falegis, 

The son of Etheor, 

The son of Jair Olfatha, 

The son of Hermonius, 

The brother of Bartholomus and Hibert. These three were 
the sons of Mycelius Espayn, mentioned above. About this 
Smonbricht and his acquisition of this kingdom, we find some- 
what in the Legend of Saint Congal, in the following words. 


Smonbricht — The Throne of Stone, and the Prophecy concerning it. 

There was a certain king of the Scots of Spain, who had 
several sons ; one, however, whose name was Smonbret, although 
not the eldest, nor the heir, he yet loved above the rest. So his 
father sent him with an army to Ireland, and gave him a 
marble chair, sculptured in very antique workmanship by a 
careful artist, whereon were wont to sit the Scottish kings of 
Spain ; whence it was diligently preserved in their territory, as 
the anchor of the national existence. Accordingly this same 
Smonbrec, accompanied by a great crowd of men, went over to the 
foresaid island, and having subdued it, reigned there many years. 
But that stone or chair he placed on the highest spot in the king- 
dom, which was called Themor (Tara), and it was thenceforth said 
to be the seat of royalty, and the most honoured spot in the king- 
dom; and the succeeding kings of his line were, for many ages, 
wont to sit there, when invested with the insignia of royalty. 
Gaythelos, some say, brought this chair and other regal orna- 
ments to Spain with him from Egypt. Others, again, that Smon- 
bret made fast his anchors, which he had let go, in the sea near 
the coast of Ireland; and when, pressed by contrary winds, he had 
striven hard, with all his might, to haul them in again from the 
billowy waves, he brought on board, with the anchors, a stone 
raised from the depths of the sea, carved out of marble into the 
shape of a chair. Accepting this stone, therefore, as a precious 
gift offered by the gods, and a sure presage of a future kingdom, 
and carried away by too great a joy, he gave worship unto his 
gods as devoutly as if they had altogether given him over a king- 
dom and a crown. He there accepted this occurrence as an 
omen from his gods that it would be so, because, as some writ- 
ings assert, the soothsayers had bidden him hold as certain that 
he and his would reign wherever, in time to come, they may 


find, in any kingdom, or domain, a stone which liad been carried 
off from them, against their will, by the might of their adver- 
saries. Whence some one, predicting from their divination, 
has prophesied metrically as follows : — 

" Unless the fates are false, the Scots will reign. 
Where'er the fatal stone they find again." 

And this, as common belief asserts to this day, proved true in 
their frequent early wanderings ; for they themselves, when 
this stone had been carried off by their enemies, not only the 
princes of Spain, but also their own countrymen of Ireland, 
recovered it by force of arms, and took their territories, accord- 
ing to the prophecy noticed above. Afterwards, however, since 
this mixed people derived their origin from the Greeks and 
Egyptians, lest the memory of their first chiefs should, perchance, 
perish from amongst men, through the lengthened course of time, 
they applied their names as designations for themselves. The 
Greeks, that is to say, thenceforth called themselves Gaythelians, 
from the name of their chief Gaythelos ; and the Egyptians, like- 
wise, from Scota, called themselves Scots, which name alone 
afterwards, and at this day, both races in common are proud 
to bear. Whence it has been written : — 

" The Scots from Scota take their name, all Scotia from those ; 
While Gaythelos, their leader's name, less common daily 


The first King of the Scots inhahiting the Islands of Albion. 

So this people increased and multiplied exceedingly on the 
earth. For it stretched out its branches from sea to sea, and its 
offshoots to the islands of Albion, tenanted by no inhabitants 
before, as it is related. But the first leader of those who in- 
habited them, Ethachius Rothay, great-grandson of the afore- 
said Simon Brek, by the interpretation of his name, gave a 
name to the island of Rothisay ; and it bore this name, indeed, 
for the space of no little time, until, when the faith of our 
Saviour had been diffused through all the ends of the earth, and 
the islands which are afar off. Saint Brandan constructed there- 
on a booth — in our idiom, hothe, that is, a shrine. Whence, 
thenceforth, and until our times, it has been held to have two 
names, for it is by the natives sometimes called Rothisay, i.e. 
the isle of Rothay, as also sometimes the isle of Bothe (Bute). 



The Picis, arriving in Ireland to settle there, are driven off hy the 
Scots, and sent to Albion. 

After the lapse of some little time, while the Scots lived in 
prosperous quiet and peace, a certain unknown people, after- 
wards called Picts, emerging from the confines of Aquitania, 
brought their ships to on their coast, and humbly requested the 
council of chiefs to let them dwell either by themselves, in a 
desert place, or together with them, all over the island. For 
they said that they had been lately driven out of their own 
country, though undeservedly, by the strong hand of their 
adversaries, and had, until now, been tossed on the sea, in the 
great and terrible dangers of tempests. They would not, how- 
ever, allow them to remain among them in the same island. 
On the contrary, admitting them to a friendly peace, and 
taking them under their protection, they sent them across, 
with some they gave them as companions, to the northern 
coasts of Albion, hitherto a desert. When these began, 
accordingly, to inhabit the land about there, as they had 
with them no women of their nation, the Scots gave them their 
daughters to wife, under a compact of perpetual alliance, and 
a special agreement as to dowry. The arrival of the Picts in 
this island, however, is variously described by various authors, 
some of whom relate that the Picts took their origin from the 
tribes which King Humber brought with him from Scythia to 
Britain, when he was drowned in the river by Locrin, the son 
of Brutus, on account of the slaughter of his brother Albanact. 
For these tribes did not retire from the island when deprived 
of their king, but for a long time decided their causes by 
judges, in its extreme confines. Another Chronicle says : The 
Picts indeed, sprung from Scythia, accompanied the flight of 
Agenor, and, under his leadership, settled among the nation of 
the Aquitanians. To this assertion of ours bears witness the 
town Agenorensis, constructed by Agenor, and the country of 
the Pictavi, in which the Picts built the city of Pictavis, named 
after them. Now these are said to have afterwards assembled 
a fleet, and, having sailed to Albion, to have remained with the 
Scots to this day. 

26 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Bede*s Account of the Arrival of the Picts. 

But in the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, which 
the Venerable Bede has compiled with his usual faithfulness, it 
is taught that the Picts did not, as Geofifroy relates, first come 
to Albion by reason of a grant from the Britons, but from the 
Scots, or through their advice only; and that they settled in the 
lands there, under the shelter of their protection. The follow- 
ing are his words. Bede : — When the Britons, beginning at the 
south, had got possession of the greatest part of the island, it 
happened that the nation of the Picts from Scythia, as is 
reported, putting to sea in a few long ships, were driven about 
by the blowing of the winds, and arrived in Ireland, beyond all 
the confines of Britain, and put in on the northern coasts there- 
of, where, finding the nation of the Scots, they asked, for them- 
selves, also, a settlement in those parts, but could not obtain it. 
The Picts, then, having arrived in this island with a fleet, 
asked that a settlement and habitation should be granted to 
them also therein. The Scots answered that the island could 
not contain them both. " But we can," said they, " give you 
wholesome advice, what you may do. We know there is another 
island, not far from ours, to the eastward, which we often see 
at a distance, on clear days. If you will go thither, you can 
settle there, or, if any should oppose you, you shall have our 
assistance." The Picts, accordingly, sailed over to the island, 
and began to settle there throughout its northern parts : for the 
Britons occupied the southern. Now the Picts, having no 
wives, asked them of the Scots, who consented to give them on 
this condition only, that, when there should be any doubt, they 
should choose themselves a king rather from the female race of 
kings, than from the male. And this custom is well known to 
be preserved among the Picts even to this day. These are 
Bede's words. 


Original Cause of the Arrival of the Scots in the Island of Albion, 

Now the daughters and wives of the Scots, whom the Picts 
had taken to wife, when their husbands took them with them, 
one after another, to their own homes, were followed by their 


numberless kinsfolk — their fathers, that is, and mothers, their 
brothers, also, and sisters, their nieces and nephews. Many, how- 
ever, of the rest followed, not only urged by affection for a child 
or a sister, but, rather, strongly allured by the grassy fertility of the 
land of Albion, whither they were bent, and its most ample pas- 
turage for their flocks. So great a number, indeed, of the rabble 
of either sex as followed them, bringing their herds with them, 
and went forth in the interval of a little time, to remain with 
the Picts, is not recorded to have left their own native land, 
before, without a leader. Continual arrivals of proscribed 
malefactors, likewise, increased their numbers ; because who- 
ever feared to undergo the discipline of the law went to 
live secure with the Picts, and, having then sent for his 
children and wife, remained there in peace, and never went 
back afterwards. But the Picts, in the meanwhile, brooking 
ill the arrival of so great a multitude, for they became im- 
bued with fear of them, caused it to be published by procla- 
mation that no stranger should thenceforth obtain a place of 
abode anywhere within their boundaries ; and even to those 
who contended that they remained with them, at the first, at 
their desire, they gave repeated opportunities of departing. 
Por, when they were first entering the island, they gathered 
from the oracles of their gods, or, rather, demons, to whom they 
sacrificed before doing anything in any undertaking, that it 
would come to pass that, if they did not do their best to subdue 
the Scots, they would themselves be utterly annihilated by them ; 
and thus, seeing their number amongst them increase, they began 
to fear more and more, and most harshly drove them forth from 
their territory. This, however, turned out true, not imme- 
diately afterwards, but a thousand years after, as the race and 
language of the Picts were entirely destroyed by the Scots at 
that time. 


The Gods, or rather Demons, of the Gentiles. 


Same continued — Folly of the Gentiles therein. 

28 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


The First King of the Scots holding svjay in Albion. 

Moreover, while the Picts were afflicting the Scottish settlers 
with annoyances and difficulties of this kind, it was secretly 
announced to the council of chiefs of the Scottish nation in 
what misery they were living amongst the Picts. In the mean- 
time, also, came forward certain men who acquainted them 
with the amenity of so broad and so fertile a region, in which 
were only fowls, wild beasts, and animals, although it might 
easily be brought under cultivation. When, therefore, a certain 
youth, noble, and of unbounded prowess, Fergus, son of Fere- 
chad, or Farchardus, begotten of the race of the ancient kings, 
heard this, namely, that a leaderless tribe of his own nation 
was wandering through the vast solitudes of Albion, without 
a ruler, having been cast out by the Picts, his heart was 
kindled with wrath. He was, moreover, much allured by the 
praises he heard of that country, where, perhaps, he aimed at 
reigning ; for those who had seen it boasted that it was exceed- 
ingly rich, in spite of the whole ground being covered, at that 
time, by very dense woods ; whereof a sure token is manifest to 
us, even until now, in this wise : it happens that, in places, often 
the most level, in which the gi'ound has, by chance, been dug up, 
or excavated, enormous subterranean roots and trunks of trees 
are found — yea, even where you would never have said, from 
any sign, that forests had grown before. Stimulated by these 
exhortations, therefore, and by the ambition of reigning, he 
assembled a great multitude of youths, and at once proceeded 
to Albion, where, establishing, in the western confines of the 
island, the Scottish settlers, sifted out from the midst of the 
Picts, together with those whom he had brought with him, he 
there constituted liimself the first king over them. 


The Northern Parts of Albion first possessed by the nations of the 
Picts and Scots, 

Divers ancient histories of the nation teach that Scotia 
was first possessed by these two nations, and that their am- 
val therein, respectively, was without any, or with only a little, 
space of time intervening ; whilst, however, some maintain 


that the Scots reigned for many years before the Picts. But 
even in this, even if they had arrived in the island simultane- 
ously, do histories by no means so much disagree ; for, while 
kings reigned over the Scots continuously from their origin, 
that is, during the course of two hundred years at least, the 
Picts had, not kings, but judges, even until the son of Clement, 
one of the judges, who was named Cruchne, seizing upon 
the insignia of royalty, by force, reigned over this nation. 
Bartholomceus even seems to wish to make out, in his fifteenth 
book, De Proprietatihus Rerum, that the Scots were conjoined 
with the Picts from the beginning, and that the two nations 
entered Gallia Narbonensis together. Bartholomceus : — Pictavia 
is a province of Gallia Narbonensis, which the Picts and 
Scots, of old, attacked with a fleet, and inhabited ; and they 
finally left, for the future, from their ancient stock, a name 
to the country and nation. These, preparing a fleet, go from 
the coast of Britain round the shores of the ocean, and, at 
length, invade those of the Aquitanian gulf Then, obtain- 
ing, not without risking the chances of war with the inhabitants, 
a footing in their country, they build the town of Pictavum, 
named from the Picts, and thenceforth call the adjacent 
country, Pictavia. No history that I have read, however, 
favours this view. The Policraticon says : — The bird Pica or 
Picta (magpie) conferred its name on the town of the Pictavi, 
typifying, both by its colour and by its voice, the levity of that 
nation. Some maintain that the people of the Picts were 
called Picti, or Painted, either from their beauty of form, or the 
elegant stature of their bodies, or from their particoloured 
garments; for they were, so to speak, decorated by a certain 
variety and novelty of bright clothing, beyond the rest of the 
surrounding nations ; or that, perchance, other nations called 
them Picti in derision, by antiphrasis, because they were of 
most sorry appearance. 




Situation, Length, and Breadth of this Island of Albion — 
Its Change of Name into Britannia and Scotia. 

Now let us briefly survey the whole course of the wander- 
ings of the Scots, how they passed from nation to nation, from 
one kingdom to another, until, at length, they reached, in God's 
name, the land they now live in, the name of which was, of old, 
according to some writers, Albion. Let us speak of its various 
changes of name, as each fresh nation subdued it in turn, and of 
the position and boundaries of the countries it comprises. Albion 
is an island of the ocean, situated in Europe, between the north 
and west ; stretching, along its length, from the south, first, 
northwards, it afterwards assumes a somewhat curved shape, 
inclining a little to the north-east. Its southern and middle 
parts have Ireland to the west of them, while its northern lie 
open to the boundless ocean, over against the arctic pole. It 
has, also, Iceland on the north, and Norway towards the north- 
east ; on the east, Dacia ; on the south-east, Germany, or Ale- 
mannia ; more to the south, Holland and Flanders ; on the 
south and south-west, Gaul and its dependencies ; and Spain 
further westwards ; and it lies hedged round by these countries, 
with a greater or less interval of ocean between. It is reported, 
also, to be eight hundred miles in length, or a little under ; and 
in breadth across, in some of the broadest places, two hundred ; 
in others, much narrower ; for, nearly in the middle, it is only 
sixty-four miles from sea to sea; and it is there so much cut up 
by large rivers, that their head waters are nearly drawn together, 
but for some intricate passes over rough land, for the space of 
twenty-two miles, with groves, brushwood, and marshes inter- 
spersed. Whence it arises that, from the flowing down on 
either side of rivers so large, although they do not quite touch 
each other, some historians have written that it is, as it were, 
divided into two islands, as will appear more clearly from the 
following passages. This island of Albion, therefore, after 
the giants, having lost its first name, had, consequently, two 


names, according to these two divisions, that is, Britannia and 
Scotia. The first settlers, indeed, in its southern part were 
Britons, from whom, since that region was first inhabited by 
them, it got the designation of Britannia. Its northern part, 
likewise, had Picts and Scots for its first colonizers, and to it 
was afterwards given, in like manner, from the Scots, the name 
of Scotia. 


Divers passages of Geoffroy, affirming that Britannia is divided 
from Scotia. 

Now this original and ancient division of these countries is 
corroborated by the writings of many. Geoffroy of Monmouth, 
peculiarly the historian of the Britons, writes in his Chronicle 
as follows : — Leil, king of the Britons, enjoyed a prosperous 
reign, and built a town in the north of Britain, from his name 
called Karleil (Carlisle). Now that town of Karleil is certainly 
in the north of Britain, but by no means in the north of Albion, 
for it is situated nearly in the middle thereof. King Belinus, 
says he again, wishing to clear the law of all ambiguity, 
caused a road to be constructed of mortar and stones, which 
should cut the island in two, along its length. Now the truth 
of the matter is that this paved road, or ditch, does not extend 
farther than to the shore of the Scottish sea ; for its track is 
visible until now, nor will it, in all time to come, be obliterated 
from the view of beholders. Geoffroy says further : — Severus, 
after several cruel engagements, drove into Scotia, beyond 
Albania, that part of the British nation which he could not 
subdue. Again : — The Saxons, however, for fear of Aurelius, 
betook themselves beyond the Humber, into Albania ; for the 
vicinity of Scotia afforded them a safeguard, as that country 
used to watch for every opportunity of molesting the people of 
Britannia. Again, he says : — After these kings had been slain by 
Cadwallo, Oswald succeeded to the kingdom of Northumbria ; 
but, as he became turbulent, Cadwallo drove him, like the rest, 
out into the outlying country, to the very wall which the Em- 
peror Severus had formerly built between Britannia and Scotia. 
Again, in the introduction to his book, commending Britain for its 
rivers, he says: — Further, Britannia is watered by rivers abound- 
ing with fish ; for, besides the channel on the southern coast, 
which one sails over on the way to Gaul, it stretches out three 
noble rivers, the Thames, the Severn, and the Humber, like 

32 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

three arms, by which the commerce of various nations beyond 
the sea is imported into it. What then ? Are there not any 
other famous rivers in Albion ? But, in truth, if he had called 
the whole of Albion, Britannia, he would certainly not have 
passed over in silence the rivers of Scotia, which are much 
broader than those above mentioned, more full of fish, better, 
and more useful in every way ; such as the river Forth, which 
is also called the Southern Firth, or Scottish Sea ; the river 
Esk, which is called Scottiswath or Sulwath (Solway) ; as also 
the river Clyde, and the river Tay, and the river of the Northern 
or Crombathy (Cromarty) Firth, which, by reason of the excel- 
lence of its holding-ground, gets the name of Zikirsount from 
seamen. And, besides these, there are many others which are 
more useful to seamen than the above-mentioned rivers of 
Britain, from their shell-fish, and sea, and fresh-water, fish — 
and safer, too, as they are incomparable places of refuge from 
the perilous tempests of the ocean. 


Passages of William of Malmesbury and the Venerable Bede 
affirming the same thing. 

William of Malmesbury likewise, a faithful historian of the 
English, and one, they say, above suspicion, would not allow 
that all Albion was called Britannia; nay, he states plainly, in his 
writings, that only the territory of the Britons, by itself, like an 
island distinct from Scotia, was Britannia, as it were the Britons' 
land, or the country which they ruled over and inhabited. He 
says : — The Saxons, involving, by their fleet, the tribes of the 
Orkneys, together with the Scots and Picts, in equal calamity, 
settled, at that time, and thereafter, in the northern part of the 
island, now called Northumbria. Therefore, Northumbria is the 
extreme portion of the island of Britain, towards the north. 
He says again : — Bede, a venerable man, whom it is easier to 
admire than worthily to extol, was born and educated in 
the most remote tract of Britannia, near Scotia (in fact, 
in the territory of the monastery at Wearmouth). That is, 
therefore, the most remote tract of Britannia. Saint Cuthbert, 
as the story goes in his History, appeared to King Alfred, while 
watching in bed, saying, " Henceforth love mercy and judgment, 
for, at my request, the empire of the whole of Britannia is 
yielded to thee ;" and, not long after, he obtained the empire 
which the saint had foretold. Now William^ again, describing 
what manner of empire the king afterwards obtained, says : — 


Alfred, by his courage, "had subdued the whole of England, save 
what the Danes possessed. Bede writes : — After that, they began 
to come, for many days, from the country of the Scots into 
Britannia, and to preach the Word of God to the Angles. 
Again : — Meanwhile Bishop Colman, who was from Scotia, left 
Britannia, and returned to Scotia. He then retired to a lonely 
island not far from Ireland. Bede says further : — But Saint 
Oswald was slain beside the wall wherewith the Eomans fenced 
the whole of Britannia, from sea to sea, in order to keep off the 
attacks of the barbarians. The kingdom of Scotia, says Tholo- 
mceus, is a promontory, separated from Britannia by mountains 
and arms of the sea, and has manners and a language and mode of 
life quite distinct from those of the Angles; it is a region, indeed, 
in all things similar to Ireland. Bartholomceus tells us : — The 
progeny of the Angles possess the island of Britannia. He says 
again: — Britannia, which is now called Anglia, is an island 
over against Gaul, etc. Again : — It was called Britannia, from 
Brutus, but finally, from the Angles who took possession of it, 
it was called Anglia. 


Passages from the same Writers affirming the reverse of this — 
History very often distorted and falsified hy rival Tran- 

But, although these and numberless other passages, found in 
the works of these writers, refer to Scotia as separated from 
Britannia, from the beginning, it may be acknowledged, on the 
other hand, that, in some of their writings, the whole of Albion is 
called Britannia. Thus Bede says : — Britannia is an island in the 
ocean, formerly called Albion, eight hundred miles long. Now this 
is, in fact, the length of the whole of Albion. He says again: — 
And then Britannia groaned, for many years, under the scourge of 
two very savage transmarine nations, — the Scots from the north- 
west, and the Picts from the north-east. We speak of these 
nations as transmarine, not because they were located out of Bri- 
tannia, but because they were remote from the part of it possessed 
by the Britons. Geoffroy writes : — Britannia, the best of islands, 
situated in the western ocean, is eight hundred miles in length. 
Geoffroy says again : — Albanactus, son of Brutus, possessed the 
country which in our times is called Scotia ; and he gave it, from 
his own name, the name of Albania. Now, do not these pas- 
sages seem to differ entirely from the preceding ? Verily, they 
do differ. But histories do not hold consistent language, either 

VOL. II. 'c 


one way or the other ; for, frequently, in the very same work, 
various passages are intermingled with others of contrary import, 
so that clauses incompatible with each other are sometimes in- 
serted even in the same chapter. Although, however, discrep- 
ancies of this sort are very often found in chronicles, they 
should by no means be imputed to their skilful, nay, holy, 
authors, who have taken care to write their histories in strict 
conformity with truth, and with an unswerving regard for their 
original authorities ; but, rather, to transcribers of a rival nation, 
by whose envy, lest the power of adjoining kingdoms should 
be strengthened, certain chronicles are entirely perverted, cor- 
rupted, violated, and, very often, indiscreetly so changed that the 
assertion of one chapter seems to annul the purport of the next. 
But, in truth, whatever variations of this sort, in the definition 
of the boundaries of Britannia, may be found in histories, through 
the fault of transcribers, the common opinion of modern time is 
that the whole of Albion was called Britannia, from Brutus, who 
only colonized its southern regions ; just as of old one third 
of the world received an eternal name from Europa, Agenor's 
daughter, although it was over only a small part of it that she 
was the first, at that time, to exercise dominion. 


BrviuSy under xvhom the Britoiis first arrived in the Island 
of Albion. 

We have thus, in the foregoing pages, reduced to some sort 
of order the accounts of the entrance, first, of the Scots into the 
island ; and it now remains for us to clear up briefly the various 
accounts given by historians of the arrival of the Britons therein. 
The Britons, then, first settled in the island of Albion under 
the leadership of a certain Brutus ; but who this Brutus was, 
and of what race, historians are not all agreed. For some 
hold that Britain was named and peopled by a chief- 
tain of Trojan race, Brutus, and his followers, as is related 
by Geoffroy and those who favour his version. Some, also, 
assert that the Britons were named after one Brutus, son 
of Isichyon, the eldest born of the leader Alanius. Now 
Alanius was of the race of Japhet, and was the first, with his 
three sons, Isichyon, Armenon, and Neguo, to traverse the 
Mediterranean Sea and arrive in Europe. From these, it is 
said, sprang four nations, the Latins, Franks, Alemanni, and 
Britons, Some again make out that the Britons were called, 


in Latin, Britones, or brutish men, so to speak, from their savage 
condition, as the Franks were so named from their ferocity; 
and Isidore favours this view. Others, on the other hand, dis- 
paraging the theories of the ancients, have derived the name 
of the Britons from the Eoman consul Brutus. We, however, 
passing over other less known assertions, pin our faith upon 
the words of a page better known to us ; and, following Geof- 
froy's chronicle in this particular, we may fitly begin our account 
of the Britons from that Brutus who was the son of Silvius, the 
son of Ascanius, the son of ^neas, the fugitive from Troy, whose 
father, Anchises, was the son of Troius, the son of Dardanus. 


Division of the Three Kingdoms of the Britons among the 
Sons of Brutus. 

N'ow this Silvius, during his father's lifetime, begat Brutus, 
of a woman of noble birth, the niece of Queen Lavinia. Brutus 
was born in a.m. 4032, as appears from the following rhyme: — 

" Four times a thousand years, and three times ten, 
Came Brutus, after Adam, first of men," 

that is, in the year 848 of the third Age. He left" Italy a youth 
of fifteen years, and began to reign in the southern provinces of 
Albion at the age of thirty-five. Of his wife, the daughter of 
Pandrasus, king of the Greeks, he begat three sons, on whom 
were bestowed these names: — Locrinus, Albanactus, and Camber. 
He reigned twenty-four years, and then died, and was buried 
by his sons in the city of London. After his death his sons 
apportioned amongst themselves their father's realm, which, after 
him, or his Britons, was called Britannia ; dividing it into three 
kingdoms, and prescribing boundaries to each, and a designation 
after their own names respectively. The kingdom of Locrinus, 
accordingly, was Locria, and, beginning from the southern shore 
of the island, that is, the Totonian shore, it was bounded on the 
north by the river Humber and the Trent. Then Cambria, the 
territory of his younger brother Camber, adjoined the kingdom of 
Locria, lying, not on its southern frontier, as some assert, nor yet on 
its northern, but on its western side ; and, though divided from 
it by mountains and the estuary of the Severn, as it were side 
by side with it, over against Ireland. Likewise Albania, the 
kingdom of Albanactus, the third region of the country of the 
Britons, stretching from the aforesaid river Humber and the es- 


tuary of the Trent, is terminated by the northern bounds of Bri- 
tannia, as above described ; and such provinces of this kingdom 
of Albania as were between the Humber and the Scottish sea 
were the most northerly possessions of the Britons, who never 
gained a footing farther north. Having so far dealt with the 
entry of the Britons into this island, and the ambiguity as to 
the line of demarcation of the kingdoms it comprised, it only 
remains for us to explain what sort of country is Scotia, — the 
land of the Scots and the name which moderns have given to 
Albania, — and what is, or was long ago, its extent. 


Scotia: its Nature and Extent, now and formerly. 

Scotia is so named after the Scottish tribes by which it 
is inhabited. At first, it began from the Scottish firth on the 
south, and, later on, from the river Humber, where Albania also 
began. Afterwards, however, it commenced at the wall Thirl- 
wal, which Severus had built to the river Tyne. But now it 
begins at the river Tweed, the northern boundary of England, 
and, stretching rather less than four hundred miles in length, in 
a north-westerly direction, is bounded by the Pentland Firth, 
where a fearfully dangerous whirlpool sucks in and belches 
back the waters every hour. It is a country strong by nature, 
and difficult and toilsome of access. In some parts, it towers 
into mountains ; in others, it sinks down into plains. For lofty 
mountains stretch through the midst of it, from end to end, as 
do the tall Alps through Europe ; and these mountains for- 
merly separated the Scots from the Picts, and their kingdoms 
from each other. Impassable as they are on horseback, save in 
very few places, they can hardly be crossed even on foot, both on 
account of the snow always lying on them, except in summer- 
time only ; and by reason of the boulders torn off the beetling 
crags, and the deep hollows in their midst. Along the foot of 
these mountains are vast woods, full of stags, roe-deer, and 
other wild animals and beasts of various kinds ; and these 
forests oftentimes afford a strong and safe protection to the 
cattle of the inhabitants against the depredations of their ene- 
mies ; for the herds in those parts, they say, are accustomed, 
from use, whenever they hear the shouts of men or women, 
and if suddenly attacked by dogs, to flock hastily into the woods. 
Numberless springs also well up, and burst forth from the hills 
and the sloping ridges of the mountains, and, trickling down 
with sweetest sound, in crystal rivulets between flowery banks,! 


flow together through the level vales, and give birth to many 
streams ; and these again to large rivers, in which Scotia mar- 
vellously abounds, beyond any other country ; and at their 
mouths, where they rejoin the sea, she has noble and secure 


Lowlands and Highlands of Scotia, and what is contained 
in them, 

Scotia, also, has tracts of land bordering on the sea, pretty 
level and rich, with green meadows, and fertile and productive 
fields of corn and barley, and well adapted for growing beans, 
pease, and all other produce ; destitute, however, of wine and 
oil, though by no means so of honey and wax. But in the 
upland districts, ai;d along the highlands, the fields are less 
productive, except only in oats and barley. The country is, 
there, very hideous, interspersed with moors and marshy fields, 
muddy and dirty ; it is, however, full of pasturage grass for 
cattle, and comely with verdure in the glens, along the- water- 
courses. This region abounds in wool-bearing sheep, and in 
horses ; and its soil is grassy, feeds cattle and wild beasts, is 
rich in milk and wool, and manifold in its wealth of fish, in sea, 
river, and lake. It is also noted for birds of many sorts. There 
noble falcons, of soaring flight and boundless courage, are to 
be found, and haw^ks of matchless daring. Marble of two or 
three colours, that is, black, variegated, and white, as well as 
alabaster, is also found there. It also produces a good deal of 
iron and lead, and nearly all metals. The land of the Scots, 
says Erodotus, in the fertility of its soil, in its pleasant groves, 
in the rivers and springs by which it is watered, in the number 
of its flocks of all kinds, and its horses, where its shore rejoices 
in inhabitants, is not inferior to the soil of even Britain itself. 
Isidore teUs us : — Scotia, with respect to the wholesomeness 
of its air and climate, is a very mild country ; there is little or 
no excessive heat in summer, or cold in winter ; — and he has 
written of Scotia in nearly the same terms as of Hibernia. In 
Scotland, the longest days, at midsummer, are of eighteen hours, 
or more ; and, in midwinter, the shortest are of not fuUy six ; 
while in the island of Meroe, the capital of the Ethiopians, the 
longest day is of twelve hours ; in Alexandria, in Egypt, of 
thirteen ; and in Italy, of fifteen. In the island of Thule, again, 
the day lasts all through the six summer months, and the night, 
likewise, aU through the six winter months. 


38 JOHN OF fokdun's chronicle 


The nations of Scotia, and their Languages, distinct — their 
different Manners and Customs. 

The manners and customs of the Scots vary with the (fiver- 
sity of their speech. For two languages are spoken amongst 
them, the Scottish and the Teutonic ; the latter of which is the 
language of those who occupy the seaboard and plains, while 
the race of Scottish speech inhabits the highlands and outlying 
islands. The people of the coast are of domestic and civilized 
habits, trusty, patient, and urbane, decent in their attire, affable, 
and peaceful, devout in Divine worship, yet always prone to 
resist a wrong at the hand of their enemies. The highlanders 
and people of the islands, on the other hand, are a savage and un- 
tamed nation, rude and independent, given to rapine, ease-loving, 
of a docile and warm disposition, comely in person, but un- 
sightly in dress, hostile to the English people and language, and, 
owing to diversity of speech, even to their own nation, and ex- 
ceedingly cruel. They are, however, faithful and obedient to their 
king and country, and easily made to submit to law, if properly 
governed. Solinus, the historian, in describing the manners and 
customs of the Scottish nation of the olden time, says : — In its 
social observances, the Scottish nation was always rugged and 
warlike. For, when males were born to them, the fathers were 
wont to offer them their first food on the point of a sword, so 
that they should desire to die not otherwise than under arms, in 
battle for liberty ; and when, afterwards, they are grown up, and 
able to fight, the victors, after drinking of the blood of the slain, 
besmear their faces with it. For they are a high-spirited race, 
of sparing diet, of a fierce mettle, of a wild and stern counte- 
nance, rugged in address, but affable and kind to their own 
people, given to sports and hunting, and to ease rather than toil. 
The Scottish nation, writes Isidore, is that, originally, which 
was once in Ireland, and resembles the Irish in all things — 
in language, manners, and character. For the Scots are a light- 
minded nation, fierce in spirit, savage towards their foes, who 
would almost as soon die as be enslaved, and account it sloth 
to die in bed, deeming it glorious and manly to slay, or be 
slain by, the foe in the field ; a nation of sparing diet, sustain- 
ing hunger very long, and rarely indulging in food before sun- 
set ; contenting themselves, moreover, with meat, and food pre- 
pared from milk. And though they are, by nature, a people of, 
generally, rather graceful figure, and goodly face, yet their 
peculiar dress much disfigures them. . 



The Islands of Scotia, apart from the Orkneys. 

Theee are also many islands, both great and small, at the 
back of Scotia, between it and Ireland, separated from the 
Orkneys by a great intervening tirth ; and the names of some 
of these are as follows : — 

Beginning first from the south, there is an island, formerly 
called Eubonia, now Man, whose prince is bound to furnish to 
his lord, the king of Scotland, ten piratical galleys, as often as 
shall be necessary ; besides other regal services. Here is the 
episcopal see of Sodor. 

Arran, where are two royal castles, Brethwyk (Brodick), and 

Helantinlaysche (Lamlash, or Holy Island). 

Eothesay, or Bute, where there is a fair and impregnable 
royal castle. 

Great Cumbrae, a rich and large island. 

Little Cumbrae, renowned for sport, but thinly inhabited. 

Bladay (Pladda). 

Inch Marnoch, where there is a monastic cell. 

Aweryne (Sanday), where is the chapel of Saint Sannian, and 
a sanctuary for transgressors. 

Eachryne (Rathlin), distant only six miles from Ireland. 

Gya (Gigha). 

Helant Macarmyk (Eileanmore), where is also a sanctuary. 

A large island called He (Islay), where the Lord of the Isles 
has two mansions, and the castle of Dounowak. 

Helant Texa, with a monastic cell. 

Colonsay, with an abbey of canons-regular. 

Dura (Jura), twenty-four miles long, with few inhabitants, but 
affording very good sport. 

Scarba, fifteen miles long, where there is a chapel of the 
Blessed Virgin, at which many miracles are performed. Beside 
this island rushes down the mighty whirlpool of Corrievrekan. 




Great Seil. 

Little SeU. 

Helant Leneow (Eilean-na-naomh), that is, the Isle of Saints, 
where is a sanctuary. 

Garveleane (Garveloch), near the great castle of Donquhonle, 
at a distance of six miles out at sea from the other islands. 


Mull, where are two castles, Doundowarde (Dowart), and 
Dounarwyse (Aross). 

Out at sea, at a distance of four miles from Mull, is Carne- 
borg (Cairnaburgh), an exceeding strong castle. 

Hycolumbkil, or lona, where are two monasteries, one of 
monks and the other of nuns. There is also a sanctuary there. 

Saint Kenneth's Island (Inchkenneth). His parish church 
is there. 


Lismore, where is the episcopal see of Argyll at Lismore. 


Tiree, where there is an exceeding strong tower, and great 
plenty of barley. 

Helantmok (Muck), that is, the Isle of Swine. 

Barra, where there is a chapel of the Holy Trinity. 

Uist, thirty miles long, where whales and other sea-monsters 
abound. There also is the castle of Benwewyl (Benbecula). 

Eum, a wooded and hilly island, with excellent sport, but 
few inhabitants. 





Hirth (St. Kilda), the best stronghold of aU the islands. 

Near this is an island twenty miles long, where wild sheep 
are said to exist, which can only be caught by hunters. 

Tyreym (Eileantirim). 

Thorset, where there is a very strong tower. 

Stroma, near the whirlpool of the Orkneys. 

Durenys, where, at midsummer, the sun is visible at night, 
not shining, indeed, but as it were piercing through the gloom. 

These above-mentioned islands, as well as many others, lie 
scattered about in the sea, on the western confines of Scotia, 
between it and Ireland ; and some of these, to the north-west, 
look out upon the boundless ocean ; whence it is believed that 
the inhabited world is bounded by this region of Scotia. 


The OrTcneys. 

Theke are also the Pomonian islands, called the Orkneys, 
situated at the northern extremity of Scotia, in the ocean 
between it and Norway ; and these are separated from the 
aforesaid islands by a considerable expanse of sea, although it 


is maintained by some that the other islands, as well as these, 
are called Orkneys. Their name Orkneys, or Orcades, is de- 
rived from the Greek Orce, " to receive ;" for, there, a vortex, or 
whirlpool, of the ocean continually sucks in and pours forth 
again the waters of the sea. Orcas, writes Isidore, is an 
island near the British sea, and the neighbouring islands have 
derived from it the name of Orcades. These are thirty-three 
in number, of which twenty are desert, and thirteen inhabited. 
But, in truth, if along with the Orkneys themselves we number 
the rest of the islands of Scotia, both inhabited and unin- 
habited, to wit, they will be found to be more than two hun- 
dred ; while, in modern times, forty or more of the Orkneys 
are inhabited. In order, therefore, that these islands may be 
more clearly distinguished, the names of the Orkneys are given 
below : — 

The main island, called Pomona, or Orcadia. 

North Eonaldsha. Lamholm (Lamau). 

Great Papa (Westra). Glowmisholm (Glims). 

Little Papa (Stronsa). Boroway (Burra). 

Stronsa. South Eonaldsha. 

Sanda. Plota. 

Auskerry. Swona. 

Eda. Switha. 

Stromholme (Green Holm). Wawys (South Walls). 

Westra. Hoy. 

Para. Little Fara. 

Egilsha. Gremsa. 

Eollisay (Eowsa). Eisa. 

Weir. Cava. 

Enhallow. Calf of Flota. 

Gairsay. Pentland Skerries. 

Swynay (Swain Holm). Sowliskery. 

Scalpandisay (Shapinsha). Brough of Birsa. 

Heleneholm (EUer Holm). Brough of Dernes. 

Colbansay (Copinsha). A third Papa. 


Fergus, Son of FercJmrd, the first King of the Scots, begins to 
Beign in Scotia — The Arms he lore. 

Fergus, having, as above recorded, come over to the island of 
Albion, was created first king of the Scots therein, and having 
given them laws and statutes, he extended his kingdom from 
the western ocean, and the islands, to Drumalban, and there 


established the boundary-line between the kingdoms : for the 
Picts inhabited the country on the eastern seaboard. The be- 
ginning of the reign of this king, and the arms he bore, have 
been thus commemorated : — 

" The first of Scottish kings that Albion boasts, 
"Who oft to victory led the Scottish hosts, 
Was Fergus, Ferchad's son, whose mighty shield 
Bore a red lion on a yellow field. 
Three hundred years and thirty was his reign 
Before Christ came to break Sin's deadly chain." 

At this time, that is, in the year 255 of the fifth Age, Alex- 
ander the Great succeeded his father Philip ; and afterwards, 
in the sixth year of his reign, he slew Darius, king of the Per- 
sians, and took Babylon. At this time, likewise, amongst the 
Eomans, Lucius Papirius was made Dictator ; and so generally 
was he then held to be one of the most warlike soldiers of the 
city, says Eutropius, that, when Alexander was said to be cross- 
ing over into Italy, the Eomans chose him, in preference to 
the rest, to withstand in battle the onset of Alexander. Then 
a good while afterwards, as we read in the Histwy of Saint 
Congall, there came over from Ireland a certain king, Fergus 
by name, the son of Ferchad, bringing with him into Scotia 
the regal chair carved out of marble, and, in it, he was there 
crowned their first king by the Scots. All subsequent kings 
who succeeded to the throne followed his example, and duly 
assumed the crown in that same chair. This was the chair 
which Smonbrec first brought to Ireland, as has been already 
related. Now after the death of Fergus and that of some other 
kings, his great-great-grandson Eether, called Eeuda by Bede, 
succeeded to the throne of the Scots of Albion, and, during his 
reign, was unwearied in his exertions to extend the frontiers of 
the country ; and he even managed to annex to his kingdom 
some parts of that of the Picts. But he was not content with 
the gift of so much good fortune smiling upon him, for, too 
much given to hankering after the extension of the frontiers of 
his kingdom, he also undertook the task of subjugating some 
of the northern border provinces of the territory of the Britons. 


King Rether, the Gi^eat-great-grandson of Fergtbs, called 
Eeuda by Bcde. 

King Rether, then, assembling a great multitude of men from 
Ireland, as well as the Scots inhabitin<j: the islands and the land 



of Albania, marched into the territory of tlie Britons with a 
strong force ; and from his sojourn there, with his followers, for 
some little time, that part of the country where he pitched his 
tents derived, from his name, its present name of Eetherdale, or, 
in English, Eethisdale, that is, the " dale," or " deal " (part) of 
Eether. Some of the British writers, however, relate that, while 
he was ravaging their country, he was slain in that valley, 
which got its name from that circumstance. We read therefore, 
that, under this king, a second incoming of Scots from Ireland 
into Albania took place, for nearly all those whom he had 
called thence to his assistance swore fealty to him of their own 
accord, and joined the Scots of Albania, never more to return. 
The Scots, says Bede, migrating from Ireland under their leader 
Eeuterha, appropriated, either by fair means, or by force of arms, 
those settlements among the Picts, which they still possess. 
At any rate, while this king was on the throne, he restored 
peace between the Picts and his Scottish subjects, both of the 
islands and of the mainland, and skilfully concluded a fast 
treaty of fellowship between them; providing that they should 
thenceforth, by common consent, combine both defensively and 
offensively against the hostile aggi-ession of any foreign nation, 
when the contingency should arise. And this treaty was, for a 
long time afterwards, strengthened by the ties of frequent inter- 
marriage amongst them, and by many mutual offerings for the 
sake of perpetuating the kindliness of reciprocal affection be- 
tween themselves, and between their descendants. 


Julius Ccesar sends an embassy to the Kings of the Scots and 
Ficts, exhorting them to submit to the Romans. 

Accordingly, the Scots and Picts were set at one by this 
reasonable peace, and reigned, for a long time subsequently, 
each content with the limits of their respective kingdoms, and 
neither inflicting any annoyance or injury on the other. The 
Britons, again, at that time, had monarchs who, far from harass- 
ing the nations around them, on all sides, by lawless hostilities, 
preserved, by their unvarying clemency and kindness, mutual 
harmony with all men. While, then, all the island nations in 
the north-west enjoyed such peaceful harmony. Gains Julius 
Caesar, who,together with Lucius Bibulus, became Eoman consul 
in A.u.c. 693, having made a bridge, crossed the Ehine, and struck 
terror throughout all Germany, and nearly the whole of Gaul 



lying between the Alps, the Khone, the Ehine, and the sea ; and 
after he had, in nine years, subdued that most ferocious nation of 
the Gauls, he turned his arms against the Britons, to whom, says 
Eutropius, the Komans had not theretofore been known, even 
by name. Bede writes : — Britannia, indeed, had never been 
visited by the Eomans, and was unknown to them before the 
time of Gains Julius Caesar ; who, being consul with Lucius 
Bibulus, after having daunted or subdued the nations of the 
Germans and Gauls, compelled Cassibellaunus, the king of the 
Britons, to surrender. Cassibellaunus, says Geoffroy, promised 
Julius Csesar a yearly tribute of three thousand pounds of silver. 
In A.u.c. 703, or B.C. 49, Caesar, after having conquered the Bri- 
tons, wishing to subject the kings of the north country to a similar 
yoke, first sent envoys on before, to expound the conditions he 
wished them to observe; and, traversing Britannia, he reached 
the Scottish sea, by which the Britains were, at that time, sepa- 
rated from the Scots, and intrenched himself for some time with 
a large army on the shore of that tide. In the meantime, he 
addressed to them, that is, to the kings of the Scots and Picts, 
by his ambassadors, two letters, one kindly, and the other harshly, 
worded; with instructions that, if they, as though perchance 
unmindful of their own welfare, should, with knitted brows, 
stubbornly reject the former, the ambassadors should present 
the other, breathing war and discord. 


Answer these Kings returned to Julius hy Letter, 

Now, when the kings had heard the ambassador, they were 
exceedingly indignant, and, having agreed as to the terms of 
their answer, they curtly wrote back on this wise : — " We, the 
kings of the Scots and Picts, to Julius, the Procurator of the 
Koman citizens, with one voice wish, Welfare and Peace — if 
indeed thou know the things of peace and welfare ; " — and so 
forth, down to this sentence : " Think not, Caesar, that thou 
canst entice us, like children, by the blandishments of cajolery 
like this — that thou canst succeed in leading us astray, to 
wander in that most loathsome vale of slavery, along a path 
impassable, crooked, rough, and horrible to every noble-hearted 
man; leaving the pleasant and noble road of freedom, our birth- 
right, a road wherein our fathers, sustained by help from the 
gods, were ever wont to walk straight forwards, bending neither 
to the right hand, nor to the left ; more especially as thine em- 


bassy came without those gifts which are well suited to those 
who are unsophisticated in blandishments, to wit, such toys as 
whirligigs and apples; for shallow fools yearn more strongly for 
a complimentary offering than for some one, prostrate on his 
knees, to freely offer them a kingdom. As for the threats 
which, from thy letter, one might suppose thou hadst just 
belched forth, we care little, if at all, for them, since we 
hope that they do not flow from the ordinance of the gods, 
but, doubtless, rather from the rash arrogance for which thou 
art notorious ; inasmuch as thee, and those whose consul thou 
proclaimest thyself, we have never offended — nay, we call the 
world to witness that we do not even know you. Yet, inno- 
cent as we are, thou unjustly threatenest us with war forth- 
with, if we do not pursue these paths of homage to thee 
— if, casting down the choice garland of our old nobility, 
which the gods forbid ! we kings, blasphemers, as it were, of our 
own race, and a scorn to all kings, do not, reversing the order 
of reason, become the servants of citizens, and hasten meanly 
to submit, to the dismal chain of slavery, heads hitherto accus- 
tomed to golden crowns and kingly dignity. As, therefore, 
what thou hast just addressed to us by thine embassy seems to 
jar with the laws of both gods and men, we doubt not that the 
gods will straightway arise to our help, and to thy confusion, if 
thy words should be followed by deeds. Now, we do not write 
back this as if, like braggarts, to defy thee to battle ; but humbly, 
with all earnestness, entreating peace and, even more fervently, 
thy friendship, provided only the traditions of our forefathers 
are saved harmless. For, the freedom our ancestors have 
handed down to us, which we must cherish above gold and 
topaze, and which, in our judgment, far beyond all comparison 
transcends all worldly wealth, and is infinitely more precious 
than precious stones ; which our high-souled forebears have 
from the beginning nobly, even to the death, preserved un- 
tainted for us, their sons — this freedom, we say, shall we like- 
wise, as not having, in our unworthiness, degenerated from their 
nature, but as strenuously imitating their standard, preserve 
inviolate for our sons after our death, and transmit to them 
unspotted by a single jot of slavishness. Farewell," etc. 

46 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Sudden Return of Julius in order to quell the repeated Re- 
bellion of the Franks or Gauls — The Stone LandmarJc, the 
extreme Limit of the Roman Possessions to the North- West 

While, therefore, Caesar tarried all this time, with his army, 
on the southern shore of the Scottish sea, awaiting their answer, 
there came vessels from Gaul informing him that King Ambio, 
instigated by the advice of the Treveri, had, with the Ebur- 
naces and Aduatici, surrounded the Eoman legates and the 
entire legion which was advancing against him, and slain them 
in an ambuscade at Embronse ; and that the Gauls had again 
conspired and leagued themselves together for relentless war- 
fare against the Eoman s. Accordingly, apprehending that 
these matters were of more importance than the subjugation of 
those kings, Csesar determined to sail across to Gaul, but being 
uncertain as to his return, he hastily caused a small round 
chamber, like a pigeon-house, and of no use, apparently, but as 
a landmark, to be built, of large smooth stones, without 
mortar, not far from the mouth of the river Caron ; and he 
wanted to build this little chamber as marking the extreme limit 
of the Eoman possessions to the north-west, almost at the world's 
end, and as a lasting monument of his military renown ; just 
as Hercules of old planted pillars in the island of Gades, at 
the western extremity of Europe, as a memorial of his eternal 
fame and long-drawn labours. Another version, that, especially, 
of common report, is that Julius Caesar had this chamber car- 
ried about with him by the troops, with each stone separate, 
and built up again from day to day. wherever they halted, that 
he might rest therein more safely than in a tent ; but that, when 
he was in a hurry to return to Gaul, he left it behind, with 
the intention of coming back without delay; and it was built up 
with one stone merely laid upon another, as is to be seen to this 
day. On the east side of this chamber, there is an entrance so 
large that an armed soldier on horseback can pass in, without 
touching the top of the doorway with the crested helmet on his 
head. This Julius, says Richard, defeated the fierce nation of 
the Gauls in many battles, and finally, sailing over into Bri- 
tannia, extended the Eoman empire beyond the barrier of the 
ocean ; all which he accomplished within ten years. 



Julius Ccesar, first Emperor — His Usurpation of the 
Sovereignty of Borne. 

Now as the rumours of this league of the Gauls grew more fre- 
quent, Csesar, thinking a matter of so much importance should not 
be neglected, lest, by impunity, it should occasion the rebellion 
of others, deferred for the nonce attacking the aforesaid kings, 
intending to return in the following spring, and subdue them ; 
so he hastily manned his vessels, and returned to Gaul, taking 
with him the conquered Britons, after they had given him hos- 
tages. And there, according to Orosius and Bede, on his return 
from Britannia, he was beset and harassed by sudden insurrec- 
tions and wars on every side. When, therefore, says Orosius, 
Csesar considered that the whole of Gaul was tranquillized, and 
durst not compass any disturbances, he sent the legions to Ire- 
land; and he devastated, by dreadful massacres of the inhabitants, 
the territory of King Ambio, who had instigated so many wars 
against him. Then, when the rebellion of the Gauls had been 
stamped out, straightway there broke out among the Romans 
an execrable and lamentable civil war, which occupied the 
whole Roman world for four years, even until Caesar's death, 
and by which the fortunes of the Roman people may be almost 
said to have been changed. Meanwhile Caesar, being opposed 
by Marcellus, Jubulus, Pompey, and Cato in the earnest re- 
quest he had sent, by messengers, that he should be reappointed 
consul without any contest, was ordered to disband his legions, 
and return to the city without delay. Stung by this insult, he 
at once, with his army, marched against his native land, from 
Arantinium, where he had massed his troops. "Whereupon the 
consuls, all the Senate, and the entire nobility, alarmed at his 
approach, fled from the city into Greece ; and, under the guid- 
ance of Pompey, the Senate prepared, in Epirus, Macedonia, and 
Achaia, for war against Caesar. Caesar, however, entered the 
evacuated city, and, in order that he might place himself above 
the power of the consuls, he made himself Dictator — an office 
whose authority dated from the earliest times. Then, after 
having been occupied with civil war for four years, as has been 
already said, and having either conquered or slain nearly the 
whole Senate, together with Pompey and the rest of the nobility, 
he held the sovereignty of Rome, by himself, for five years ; 
and, during that time, the noble Roman leaders Cato, Scipio, 
Petreius, and Juva miserably slew themselves in Africa, be- 
cause they had been vanquished by Caesar. 

48 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


The Bates of the Roman Emjperors must necessarily he given in 
this Chronicle — The Four Monarchies of the World. 


Death of Julius Ccesar — Signal Vengeance on his Betrayers^ 
inspired from Htaven^ as I believe. 


Date of the Accession of the Emperor Octavianus, Nephew of 
Julius Ccesar — Vision revealed to him from Heaven. 

Conception and Birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 

In the first year of grace, which was the forty-second of 
Augustus Cajsar, the Blessed Virgin Mary, on the annunciation 
of an angel, became pregnant, in her virginity, of the Eedeemer 
of the perishing world, in the sixth month after the conception 
of His forerunner; that is, on the 25th of March, when the 
days begin to lengthen. For Our Lord Jesus Christ, God and 
Man, who, being in the likeness of God, humbly took upon 
him, from her, the likeness of a servant, deigned to be born in 
Bethlehem Judah, the city of David, in the tenth month of that 
year ; that humility might the more fitly be established just at 
that time when the penalty of pride was already an example to 
all throughout the world. While, therefore, the tumult of war 
was everywhere hushed, and everything was wrapped in unbroken 
silence, when night had run through half its course, the Word 
of God the Father was made flesh, and began to dwell amongst 
us, 5199 years after the beginning of the world, 2452 after the 
crossing of the Eed Sea, 1206 after the taking of Troy. Seven 
hundred and fifty -two years had passed from the building of 
Eome, when Christ sanctified the world. The reign of the 
first king of the Scots in Scotia, was three hundred years 
and thirty before Christ. One hundred and fifty -eight 
years elapsed from the restoration of the kingdom of the 
Jews by Judas Macchabceus to the birth of Christ. rosins, 


in his Apologeticum on this passage in the prayer of the prophet 
Habakkuk — "0 Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years," 
in describing this event, says : — Christ, the Son of God, in the 
power and glory of the Father, redeemed in the middle of time, 
and will judge in the end, those things which He had made in 
the beginning. And thus the world is divided into three 
periods, under different laws. For, in Adam began the period 
of the Law of Nature, which lasted down to Moses, in whom it 
was terminated ; in Moses began the period of the Law of the 
Scripture, which continued down to Christ, in whom, also, it was 
terminated ; in Christ, likewise, began the period of the Law 
of Grace, which shall last until the consummation of Time. 


Various Events after the Incarnation — Tiberius succeeds to 
the Throne. 


Passion and Resurrection of Christ — Various Events, 


Accession of Claudius Caesar — He makes War on the Britons — 
Accession of Nero. 

In the fourth year of his reign, Claudius, because they refused 
to pay the tribute, made war on the Britons, whom none had 
approached since Julius Caesar's time ; and, having slain their 
king, Guyderius, he compelled his brother Arviragus, who had 
been raised to the throne in his stead, to surrender, and to pay 
the tribute. According to Geoffroy, he remained in Britannia the 
whole winter, and gave his daughter Gewyssa to Arviragus to 
wife ; after which he returned to Eome. Bede tells us : — 
Claudius, without any fight or bloodshed, took the greater part of 
the island within a very few days, and returned to Eome on the 
sixth month after his departure. He also, then, with the assist- 
ance of the Britons, brought under the sway of Eome the Orkney 
Islands, which lie between Scotia and Norway. The Britons, 
however, were not all subdued at that time; for, after his depar- 
ture, they broke out into a fresh rebellion, which was suppressed 
by Vespasian, Nero's successor on the throne, who was sent by 
this same Claudius to Britain, and who, also, then first reduced 



the Isle of Wight to subjection to Eome. Nero, then, after him 
succeeded to the throne. He resembled his uncle Caius Cali- 
gula. He began to reign in a.d. 56, and reigned thirteen years 
and eight months. This emperor disgraced and weakened the 
Roman empire ; for he indulged in such extraordinary luxury 
and extravagance, that he would fish with golden nets, which 
he would draw up with cords of purple silk. He put to death a 
great part of the Senate ; he was the enemy of every good man; 
he set the city of Rome on fire, that he might enjoy the sight of 
a spectacle such as Troy formerly presented when taken and 
burned. In the sixth year of this emperor, James, the brother 
of Our Lord, was stoned by the Jews ; in the seventh, Mark, the 
Evangelist, and Mary Magdalene departed this life ; and in the 
last year of his reign, he crucified Peter, and beheaded Paul. 
In the self-same year he was adjudged a public enemy by the 
Senate, and when they sought him, to take him to punishment, 
he fled from the palace, and killed himself 


In the Twelfth Year of Claudiiis hegins the War of the Britons 
against the Scots. 

About this time, therefore, that is, the twelfth year of Clau- 
dius, is said to have first broken out the war of the Britons 
against the Pictsand Scots, which lasted one hundred and fifty- 
four years, to the fifteenth year of Severus, unbroken by any 
peaceful settlement for any length of time. At any rate, it 
broke out in the following way : Vespasian was, with several 
legions, sent over to Britannia by the Emperor Claudius, and, 
after he had totally suppressed the rebellion of the Britons, 
and subjected them to a yearly payment of tribute, he returned 
to Rome, leaving part of his army behind him for the protec- 
tion of the country, with instructions that it should, with the 
assistance of the Britons, reduce to servitude, or exterminate, 
the Irish nation, as well as the Scots and Picts. Ultimately, 
the Britons did accompany the Romans to Ireland; but, after 
various losses inflicted and suffered on either side, they made 
little, if any, way. Returning thence, they everywhere plunder 
and devastate, with fire and sword, the contiguous lands of the 
kingdom of the Scots and Picts, because these nations would 
not submit to the Romans. Meanwhile, as hostilities on the 
part of the Romans and Britons became more vigorous, these 
fierce nations, the Irish, the Picts, and the Scots, impelled, by 
a common need, to come together, bound tliemselves in a fast 


league against them, because a threefold cord is hard to break ; 
and they began to lay Britain waste on every side. For the 
Irish, bursting forth from the westward, the Scots, from the 
north-west, and the Picts, from the north, parcelled out the 
country amongst them, and desolated it by deplorable massacres, 
sparing neither sex nor age, and devouring with fire or the edge 
of the sword everything they could lay hands upon. The 
Britons, again, on the other hand, did their best to inflict upon 
them, and not undeservedly, mischief as great ; and, whatever 
they saw, besides earth and stones, they everywhere either con- 
sumed with fire or slew with the sword. 


The savage Wars of the Scots and Picts against the Britons, and 
their first Conquest of the Begion of Albania ^ beyond the 
(Scottish Firth. 

Thereupon there broke out between them a most cruel war, 
the like whereof had never been heard of before ; nay, none 
of equal or greater cruelty, between two nations, has ever 
been recorded in history. The populace of both nations, 
whose part it is to give themselves up to agriculture only, 
and not to war and slaughter, was exposed, on all sides, to 
widespread war, pillage, and rapine ; and, wretched men, the 
dregs of the people, who could neither help the citizens, at 
all, nor hurt their enemies, they were massacred without mercy. 
Accordingly, the remainder of the people, who were able in any 
way to escape the edge of the sword, being left defenceless, 
lurked stealthily in mountains, caves, and the recesses of the 
woods. Here they kept themselves alive in sorry plight, but in 
perfect contentment, with herb roots, the fruit, leaves, or bark 
of trees, or only with the milk of some ewe, if at least they hap- 
pened to have one ; whence, also, it came to pass that the citizens 
who were shut up within strong city walls, and the garri- 
sons of the towns, on the inhabitants of the rural districts 
being thus cut down by the sword or driven to flight, were 
brought into such straits of hunger and starvation that, laying 
no store by their houses, their whole property, and all their furni- 
ture, and wishing to save themselves, their wives, and their chil- 
dren, from this calamity, they would take them away to lands 
far remote. Meanwhile, the enemy would surround the towns, 
thus very often empty, abandoned as they were by their garri- 
sons, except a few foolish people entirely unskilled in defence; 
nor would their fierceness be long delayed, but, gathering their 

52 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

columns into one, they would scale the walls with ease, and, 
breaking them down, without delay, to their very foundations, 
and scattering the stones thereof down into the ditch, would at 
once level them with the ground. The strongest towns of the 
Britons bear witness to this desolation, namely, Agned, which, 
restored by Heth, king of the Scots, was afterwards called 
Hethinburgh (Edinburgh) ; Carlisle also, and Alneclud (Dum- 
barton), and a large number of towns which were by them razed 
to the very ground, and have not yet been restored by any one. 
Eutropitbs in his Bomanorum Historice, in recalling this calam- 
ity, says : — Nero ventured on no military exploits, and nearly 
lost Britannia ; for in his reign two or three noble towns were 
taken and demoKshed. 


The Moravienses driven out hy the Bomansfrom their native 
soil of Moravia — They afterwards join the Picts. 

As the folly and sloth of that most wicked emperor, Nero, 
were not unknown, some hope of recovering their ancient 
liberty sprang up among the nations. In his days, the Eomans 
suffered innumerable evils. For the Parthians, after having 
subjected the eastern legions to their yoke, took Armenia, and 
reduced it to servitude. Britannia, also, was weakened, and nearly 
devastated, by the surrounding peoples. Moreover, the Ger- 
mans and Pannonians wanted to engage in a fresh rebellion, but 
were vanquished by the Koman troops. The people of Mor- 
avia, likewise, a district of Pannonia beside the river Danube, 
were roused by sedition, as they were very often wont to be, 
and, led by Roderick, they rebelled, and treacherously sur- 
rounded and cut to pieces the entire legion which garrisoned 
that country. These Moravienses had, in truth, before this, 
been nearly destroyed in a bloody massacre by Augustus Caesar's 
stepson Tiberius, before he was emperor. When, therefore, the 
provincial legions near heard of so wicked a deed, they deter- 
mined either to punish the ringleaders of the Moravienses by 
the sword, or to exile them under sentence of perpetual banish- 
ment. Accordingly Roderick, panic-stricken, and unable to sustain 
the onset of the approaching legions, provisioned a fleet, and 
went an exile with his followers, down the river Danube to the 
sea ; and after going about plundering, as a pimte, various bays 
in the northern ocean, he betook himself over to the Belgic 
sea. He there, for some time, made head against the Romans, 
sweeping the seas, and making constant attacks upon the sea- 



ports and ships of the Gauls and Britons ; and, at length, wish- 
ing to rest, he by treaty submitted to the Picts, among whom 
he had frequently before made some stay. The Picts, much em- 
boldened and strengthened by the multitude of these people there, 
exhorted the Scots, without ceasing, to go to war with the Britons; 
and it so came about. For, combining their hordes into one mass, 
they swoop into Britannia, without fear of being attacked by any 
foe ; and, after scattering the population on all sides, and griev- 
ously devastating the country, they return homewards by forced 
marches; but, on their way back over the border, laden with spoil 
and plunder, they were met by Marius, a patrician of the Britons, 
at the head of the legions of the Roman nation ; and, after most 
ruthless slaughter on both sides, he put them to flight; Roderick, 
the chief of the Moravienses, having first been slain in the battle. 
Geoffroy, in his writings, has laid it down that these Moravienses 
were Picts from Scythia ; and rightly so, for all the regions 
from the Baltic Sea to the Danube were formerly called Lower 
Scythia ; and it was from one of these that they came and were 
permanently united with the Picts. The Pictish people, then, 
after their defeat, retraced their steps to their homes, in great 
confusion ; and they also gave the nation of the Moravienses, 
who were deprived of their leader — for their chief had fallen in 
the battle — their daughters to wife, and a spacious country to 
bring under cultivation. To this district, according to Geoffroy, 
they gave the name of their old country of Moravia, that is, to 
Katania (Caithness) ; and abode there with the Picts. 


Monument which Marms, leader of the Roman legions^ caused to 
he erected in memory of the battle — Succession of Emperors. 

Having gained this triumph, this Roman, Marius, wishing to 
transmit to posterity a perpetual memorial of so great a battle, 
caused to be erected, close to the scene of the victory, a certain 
monument in the likeness of a nearly square chamber, but of 
not much utility, built of hewn stones laid together, without 
the artificial connexion of mortar, and roofed in with concave 
cut stones of a workmanship entirely unused before. 


Account given hy Orosius and Augustine of the rise and fall 
of the Roman power — Succession of Emperors. 



Succession of various Emperors. 


Alliance of Fulgentius, leader of the Britons in Albania^ 
with the Scots and Ficts. 

In the time of the Emperor Commodus, civil discord 
began to arise in Britannia, amongst the Britons, with reference 
to the payment of the tribute. Eor on the death, or, according 
to others, the want of compliance of their king Lucius, after 
whom their royal race ceased to reign in Britain, tribunes are 
appointed, instead of kings, by the Romans. Meanwhile, Fulgen- 
tius, the consul of the Britons of Albania, who was sprung from 
the stock of the ancient kings, asserted that he would on no ac- 
count pay tribute to the Romans, and even ought not to do so, 
for that he had never promised either allegiance or submission 
to them. His fellow-countrymen, then, being on this account 
excited to envy, determined to force him to contribute by taking 
his lands ; while he repaid them with usury, by not only re- 
taking his own, but also committing depredations upon them, 
as one maddened against them. Thence, afterwards, followed 
sore rapine, sedition, and incendiarism, neither side sparing the 
other, but everywhere consuming everything and each other, as 
if the northern Britons were totally divided from the southern. 
The Scots and Picts, however, as they were wont, wasted and 
devastated, by frequent irruptions, the lands of Eulgentius in 
their neighbourhood, carrying off unnumbered spoils ; so Eul- 
gentius, not able to sustain the shock of wars on all sides, 
entered into a treaty with the Scots for a time ; and, as soon as 
peace was established by this agreement, he turned all his energies 
to attacking the Roman patricians who ruled the country at the 
time, and their British allies. While, therefore, Britannia was 
labouring under these the evils of civil discord, the amount of 
the tribute which was wont to be sent over yearly to Rome re- 
mained altogether unpaid ; and many of the Britons, after him, 
abjured fealty to Rome, hoping thus to be freed from subjection 
to taxes. 



The Emperor Severus, to shut out the Scots and Picts from 
invading the Britons, has a wall made across the island. 

On his accession to the government of the empire, Severus, 
as already said, found the commonwealth eveiy where in great 
disturbance ; and he laboured hard to reduce it to order. Thus 
lie slew Pascenius Niger, who was attempting a rebellion 
throughout Egypt and Syria ; he conquered and quieted the 
Parthians, Arabs, and Azabeni ; he smothered the revolt again 
meditated by the Jews and Samaritans ; and, after having quelled 
many insurrections throughout the whole Eoman world, he, at 
at the city of Lugdunum, defeated and slew Clodius Albinus, 
who had made himself Caesar in Gaul. When, therefore, 
civil war had been repressed on all sides with the utmost 
diligence, Britannia alone remained uncurbed, through the fac- 
tiousness of Fulgentius. Accordingly the emperor called 
a council, and asked which of all the military chiefs was pre- 
pared to take some legions with him, and go to Britain ; and, 
hearing no one say he was ready, he took up his sword, and 
said — " Here am I ! Prepare ye all to follow me ; for with me 
ye shall go." And he thus set out for Britannia forthwith. The 
cause of his arrival was not, however, hidden from Fulgentius, 
who was forewarned thereof by his friends, by means of mes- 
sengers secretly sent on before, and also that he need not hope 
in any degree to prevail against the onset of such a multitude 
of warriors. When he had hastily marched into Scotia, there- 
fore, he and the kings of the Scots and Picts entered into a stable 
treaty of perpetual peace and eternal fellowship between their 
respective nations, while he, at the same time, give up his two 
sons as hostages. He then, supported by a strong army of the 
Scots and Picts, went back into Britannia, prepared to do battle 
without delay. And he went backwards and forwards, making 
expeditions of this sort, very frequently, until impeded by the 
bulwark of a very broad vallum drawn across the island by 
Severus ; and then only did he become rather more quiet. 


Fulgentius, supported hy an auxiliary hody of Scots and Picts, 
besieges the city of York, and slays the Emperor Severus. 

Now the emperor, when he had overcome Fulgentius, 8,nd 
made him flee into Scotia, had, at that time, a vallum made 

56 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

across the island, between two rivers on either side, namely, 
the Tyne and the Esk, that there might, for the future, no spot 
seem open for the invasion of the allies by their constant 
enemies the Scots and Picts, or even by the Britons of Albania 
themselves, as was their wont. So Fulgentius, knowing that 
the way to York, by land, was closed to him by the vallum, 
speedily made ready some small vessels, laden with victuals, 
warlike engines, and cavalry ; while the infantry and the other 
leaders of his land forces went with him to the river, and set 
busily to work making coracles, or portable boats, of wicker- 
work, cunningly sewed round about with skins, each of which 
could carry across two, or only one, with his arms, and the boat- 
man. Kowing over in these, as well as swimming across, in 
the darkness of night, they safely crossed the river before day- 
break. He then massed the troops together, and laid close 
siege to the city of York, which he had previously lost, when 
Severus had assaulted it; and he, at the same time, received again 
into the bonds of their pristine allegiance to him some of his 
nobles, who had formerly seceded from him, but who, inspirited 
by the great multitude of warriors who accompanied him, chose 
to cleave to him rather than to the Komans. When, therefore, 
a few days after, Fulgentius was applying himself intently to 
the siege, and, after having made extensive preparations in 
the scaffolding of the engines for scaling or breaching the walls 
of the city, was diligently occupied about the assault, this 
Roman emperor, like the high-spirited chief he was, suddenly 
sallied out with his troops, and rushed amongst the enemy; and, 
engaging in mortal combat with Fulgentius, he was slain. Bede, 
indeed, relates that Severus died a natural death in this same 
city ; but Geoffroy bears witness, in the following passages, that 
he was killed by Fulgentius, even as is here related. 


Bedels account of the said Wall, and of the Siege, and of the 
Death of Sevencs. 

Severus, then, says Bede, having been victorious in the civil 
wars which grievously came upon him all at once, was drawn 
into Britannia by the revolt of almost all the allies ; and, after 
many a great and serious battle, he thought fit to divide from 
the other unconquered nations that part of the island which he 
had recovered — not, as some imagine, with a wall, but with a 
vaUum. Accordingly, he drew this massive vallum, fortified with 


frequent towers upon it, from sea to sea ; and there — that is, at 
York — he fell sick and died. Geoffroy writes : — Severus, as soon 
as he had arrived in Britannia, gave battle to the Britons, and 
subdued part of the country ; while the inhabitants of the other 
part, which he could not reduce, were so hard pressed by him 
that they were forced to flee into Scotia. They, however, 
resisted him with all their might, under the conduct of Ful- 
gentius, and often inflicted great slaughter upon both their own 
countrymen and the Eomans. For they brought to their assist- 
ance all the people of the islands that they could get, and thus 
often came back victorious. The emperor, therefore, unable to 
endure the frequent inroads of Fulgentius, commanded a 
vallum to be built between Deira and Albania, so as to check 
his further advance ; and they built one at the common charge 
from sea to sea, which, in after time, served more easily to 
hinder the approach of the enemy. But Fulgentius, when no 
longer able to resist Severus, crossed over into Scotia, that by 
the help of the Scots and Picts he might be restored to great- 
ness ; and when he had collected all the youth of the country, 
he returned by sea to Britannia, and besieged the city of York. 
Upon this news being spread among the other nations of 
Britannia, the greater part of the Britons deserted Severus, and 
went over bodily to Fulgentius. However, Severus did not, on 
this account, desist from his undertaking ; but, summoning the 
Romans and the rest of the Britons together, he marched to the 
siege, and fought with Fulgentius. The engagement proved 
very sharp. Severus was slain, with many of his followers, and 
Fulgentius mortally wounded. 


The Pojpe Saint Victor /., under whom the Scots began to embrace 
the Catholic Faith. 

In the seventh year of the Emperor Severus, Victor I., the 
fourteenth Pope from Peter, who was spmng from a nation of 
Africa, and whose father's name was Felix, ascended the Papal 
throne, and occupied it ten years two months and twelve days. 
Under him, the Scots began to embrace the Catholic faith, that 
is to say, in a.d. 203 ; whence the following : — 

" After Christ's birth two hundred years and three. 
His true faith flrst on Scotland shed her rays ; 
Then the first Victor filled the Papal see, 
Who died a martyr in Severus' days." 


This Victor, like his predecessor Eleutherius, appointed that 
the holy Easter should be celebrated on Sunday ; and, at the 
request of the clergy, he held a council at Alexandria of Pales- 
tine, on the limits of the celebration of Easter, and other most 
urgent ecclesiastical matters. There were present, at this 
council, the holy Pope Victor himself, Narcissus, patriarch of 
Jerusalem, and Theophilus, bishop of Csesarea ; and it was there 
determined that Easter should always be celebrated on the 
Sunday after the fourteenth day of the moon of the month of 
April. For many bishops, both of the East and of Asia, at that 
time, and for a long time after, used to celebrate Easter in ac- 
coixiance with the Jews. This Pope also ordained that, in a 
case of urgent necessity, a man may be baptized in a river, in a 
pool, or in the sea, provided only he has made open profes- 
sion of the Christian faith. He received the crown of martyr- 
dom under Severus, and was buried beside Saint Peter, in the 
Vatican. His feast is held on the 28th of July. 


Sticcession of many insignificant Fmperors. 

Severus, says Eutro'pius, left two sons to succeed him, 
Basianus, and Geta. The Senate conferred the name of An- 
toninus on Basianus ; while Geta was adjudged a public enemy, 
and speedily put to death. Basianus Antoninus, then, who was 
also called Caracalla, succeeded his father in a.d. 2 1 3, and reigned 
six years. He paid the debt of nature in the city of Edessa, 
whUe attempting an expedition against the Parthians. Sigihert 
relates that Basianus was slain by the Parthians, at the city of 
Edessa. Geoffroy tells us that Basianus was slain by Car- 
ausius, in Britannia. But I think we should rather give credit 
to the histories of the two former ; because it is certain that 
Carausius first usurped Britannia from the Komans in the time 
of Diocletian and Maximian. For, seventy-two years after the 
death of this Basianus, Carausius rebelled, in Britannia, against 
the Eomans, and the Emperor Diocletian ordered his associate 
Adlectus to slay him, as will presently be related below. 


First occasion of the Dissensions which sprang up "between the 
Scots and Picts, in the time of Diocletian, or a little before. 

On Cams having been struck by lightning, Diocletian, the thirty- 
second from Augustus, succeeded to the throne in the year 


287, and reigned twenty years; and, having created Maximian 
Herculius first Csesar, then Augustus, he sent him into Gaul. 
It was in this expedition that the Theban legion suffered. In their 
time the fury of the persecution of the Christians was so much 
increased that, within thirty days, twenty-two thousand persons of 
both sexes, throughout the various provinces, were crowned with 
martyrdom. In this persecution, Christianity was almost en- 
tirely stamped out in Britannia. While, however, such things 
were being done, by their command, throughout the whole extent 
of the Koman Empire, the grievous thunderbolts of sudden dis- 
turbances crashed upon them. In Britannia, Carausius, who had 
been set to watch the sea-coast, rebelled, as did Achilleus, in 
Egypt ; while Narseus, king of the Persians, oppressed the east, 
and the Quinquegentiani, Africa, by their wars. Now, in the 
time of this Diocletian, or a little before, while the nations of 
the Scots and Picts reigned together in peace, and everywhere 
protected their territory with their combined strength, it so hap- 
pened that, on a day appointed, some nobles of both nations 
met on the confines of their respective countries, as they were 
wont, for the purpose of hunting ; and, when they had been 
coursing about hither and thither nearly a whole day, with their 
dogs uncoupled, in pursuit of game, a certain hound, which was 
accustomed to follow the blood-stained tracks of the quarry, 
was stolen away by the Picts, and incontinently found among 
them. The Scots asked to get it back, but they would not re- 
store it ; so they fell out, and the Scots strove to wrest it from 
them by force. They, on the other hand, taking no manner of 
trouble to lessen, by reparation, the wrong they had committed, 
but even more crueUy aggravating it, hastened to battle ; and 
thus many, on both sides, of those who had met together were 
slain with the sword, one by another. This, then, was the oc- 
casion and beginning of the first dissension between them; who, 
for five hundred years, had lived harmoniously in a united 
peace, with their united power resisting all other nations what- 
ever. But, not long after, in proportion to the earnestness with 
which they formerly nurtured the friendship between them, 
as if they two were one people, by frequent kind turns done 
to one another ; by firm alliances between their children, in 
connexion by marriage ; and often, also, by mutual banquets — 
was the bitterness with which their enmity thenceforth grew, 
from day to day, by rapine, fire, slaughter, treachery, and various 
tumults and raids. And though confirmed peace, and negotia- 
tions for a truce, were often agreed upon between them ; still 
things went daily from bad to worse, so that each nation set to 
work, with all its might, to annihilate the other. However, 


peace was restored by Carausius, a Briton, whose object, 
indeed, was to take them with him to fight against the Komans, 
as will be shown in the sequel. 


Covenant of Caratcsius with the Scots and Picts — First Eotypulsion 
of the Romans from Britannia. 

While fickle Fortune was thus turning her wheel at random, 
such a change came over the impaired strength of the Romans 
that the whole of their dominions were disturbed, both by sea 
and land. Then this Carausius, a man of very mean birth, but 
of great skill in the art of war, received power from the Senate 
to restore to order the face of the Belgic sea, and its shores, 
which were devastated by the piracy of Saxon and Frankish ves- 
sels. So he immediately assembled, from all parts, freebooters, 
always at hand, and ready for sedition ; and great was the booty 
that he many a time took from the enemy. He did not, however, 
share it equally with his associates, nor restore the natives their 
own; neither did he give any part thereof for behoof of the com- 
monwealth, or to the Senate, but took good care to keep the whole 
heap for himself, and enrich himself. On this account, therefore, 
the Senate secretly, by letter, ordered him to be put to death, for 
fear he should become too friendly with the barbarians, and, hav- 
ing assembled them, to the prejudice of the Roman interests, 
bring them into the island. He, however, being in all things 
prudent and cautious, got a clue to Csesar's instructions ; and, 
rising with the greatest courage against the Romans, he kept 
the whole of Britannia for himself, allowing them none of it, and 
brought it all under his own dominion. He, moreover, without 
delay, pressingly solicited all the nations of the island, as well 
as the Scots and Picts, upon whom he had formerly committed 
the most cruel depredations, to enter into a friendly treaty 
with him ; and, with promises of many gifts, he assiduously 
besought them to rise, and join him in driving the Romans out of 
the island. Nor would he have been able to lure them on to 
contract such a treaty of peace, had he not conceded to them 
that the possessions they had acquired by the sword, in Nero's 
time, should subsist in the same peaceful state, and remain 
theirs, in their integrity, for ever. With the help of these nations, 
then, he assailed the Romans ; and, having wrested from 
them all their fortresses and towns, he cruelly expelled them, 
every one, from Britannia, and invested himself with the diadem 
of the kingdom. 




Batification of this Covenant^ and Treaty negotiated hy Car- 
ausius between the Island Nations — the Scots, Britons, and 
Picts — to last for ever. 

The Britons, then, though they all knew that Carausius was 
of obscure birth, and had risen to fame merely during the late 
campaign, nevertheless, on account of his practised skill in war- 
fare, gladly accepted him as their king, hoping, through his 
energy, to be the sooner snatched from the power of the Romans. 
So they willingly ratified the covenants he had lately entered 
into with the Scots and Picts ; and, to seal the compact, they 
freely granted him, in perpetuity, the possessions of their late 
leader Fulgentius, which Gotharius, his grandson through his 
daughter, had until then, by the help of the Scots, through a long 
course of years withheld, though with difficulty, from the Romans; 
and it was settled that, in future, having become, as it were, one 
people, they should, without treachery, give each other faithful 
help against the Romans, or any other nations that might wish 
to make war on them or any one of them. Meanwhile, a Roman 
force was sent by the emperors into Britannia, under the command 
of Basianus, to recover it from those barbarous and untamed 
nations, after Carausius should have been slain or put to flight, 
and to reduce it to its accustomed condition of a republic ; or 
else dismally to bestrew the fields with the corpses of those of 
the inhabitants who would spurn them. Accordingly Basianus 
(not, however, that Basianus Caracalla who had, many years 
before, succeeded his father Severus in the empire, but another 
who, on account of his military renown, had at this time been 
chosen to take command of the legions), on his first arrival, 
besought the Picts with words of kindness, saying that, if they 
would make a treaty with him, and exert themselves to help 
him in warring against the Britons, he, for his part, would not 
refuse to give them his constant assistance against the Scots. 
As, however, they were already committed by the covenant Car- 
ausius had made with them, they gave no final answer to his pro- 
mises; but cunningly sent him away under the illusion that they 
would either give him their help at once, or, at least, withdraw 
themselves from the war. For, in their disingenuous wariness, 
they wished first to be able to foresee the result of the war ; so 
that, when certain which side would be victorious, they might 
then more safely enter into an alliance with the victor. So 
Basianus arrived, and crushed the Britons by sundry mas- 


62 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

sacres and proscriptions ; but he was afterwards, with many of 
his soldiers, slain in a most hard-fought battle, by Carausius, 
and the Scots and Picts, who had joined with him. 


Death of Carausius ly Treachery, at the hands of Adlectus, a 
Soldier — His ExJwrtation, or Instructions, to the Islanders, 
hoio they might always defend themselves from the Homans, 
or any other foreign Foes. 

After this victory, then, Carausius, who outshone every one 
in all military qualities, and was the first, after the Britons had 
been subdued by the Emperor Julius, gloriously to rule over 
them, when restored to their pristine freedom on the expulsion 
of the Romans from their midst, was betrayed, in a measure by 
the treachery of one of his soldiers, and slain with the sword. 
Carausius, says Bede, possessed himself of Britannia ; and, having 
most valiantly retained it for the space of seven years, he was, 
at length, put to death by the treachery of his associate Adlectus. 
This Carausius was remarkable for his faithfulness to his engage- 
ments, keeping all his promises to the very letter, and especially 
the covenants he had made with the Scots and Picts, whom he 
frequently, by embassies to and fro, and very often by letter, 
exhorted to mutual and loyal concord. " I do not consider," 
he would say to them, "that there need be any fear of the 
Romans in the island, so long as the various nations therein, 
united in faithful communion under trusty chiefs, firmly keep 
the peace one towards another. So that, on a sudden arrival of 
their foes, they should not, without preparation, rush head- 
long into a hasty war, before being joined by their friends or 
allies; but, by wisely cutting off the enemy's supplies, they 
should put off hostilities as long as should be necessary ; and 
thus, after careful discussion of some common plan, seize a fit 
time for fighting." Meanwhile, the greater part of the British 
nation renewed the treaty of alliance they had formerly made 
with the Scots, and strove, if possible, to put Adlectus to death, 
or drive him out of Britannia, on account of the death of Carausius, 
their chief. Adlectus, on the other hand, accompanied by 
the Picts, who had broken the treaty they had previously sworn 
with the Britons, inflicted many injuries upon Britannia; and 
at length, a few years after, advancing to battle with them, 
he himself, after great slaughter on both sides, fell amongst 
the slain, as he so well deserved. Eutropius writes: — After 



Carausius, Adlectus held Britannia for three years, and was over- 
thrown by the Praetorian troops of Asclepiodotus. Afterwards, 
as often as the Komans made war on the British nation, the 
Scots would help the latter, and come faithfully to their rescue; 
while the Picts would assiduously give their support to the 
Ptomans, against the Britons. For the cunning of Adlectus had 
separated the Picts from the Britons, and these two nations 
thenceforth wasted each other, with mutual massacres, until the 
time of Maximus, emperor of Gaul. Let us now return to the 
enumeration of the emperors, as they succeeded to the throne. 


Accession of the Emperors Galerius and Constantius — War of 
Constantius against the Scots and the Britons of Albania, 

When, therefore, the commonwealth was in danger, imder 
I the aforesaid emperors Diocletian and Maximian, two men 
were created their coadjutors : Constantius, father of Constan- 
tine the Great, and grandson of Claudius through his daughter ; 
i and Galerius Maximin. And the emperors, also, that they 
might attach these men to themselves by family ties, gave in 
marriage, Diocletian, his daughter Valeria to Galerius, and 
Maximian, his stepdaughter Theodora to Constantius. Of 
; Theodora, Constantius begat seven sons, brothers of Con- 
i stantine. He was afterwards sent by Maximian to Gaul, 
i which was ravaged by the Alemanni, and to Britannia, which 
was labouring under civil war. Accordingly, after having tran- 
quillized Gaul, he went across into Britannia, bringing over 
\ three legions with him, and easily compelled the southern 
I Britons to make peace — not by war, indeed, but by threats of 
war. Then, declaring war against the Britons of Albania and 
the Scots, he stirred up against them the nation of the Picts, 
who were always prone to harm their neighbours. In those 
days, the young Constantine, son of Constantius by his former 
wife Helena, was serving with Diocletian ; who, at the instiga- 
tion of Galerius, was bent upon compassing his death by foul 
play. The plot was detected by Fausta, Maximian's daughter, 
whom Constantine had taken to wife ; and he hurried back, in 
safety, to his father. On Diocletian and Maximian retiring 
from the imperial throne, they were succeeded by the aforesaid 
Constantius and Galerius, in a.d. 307; and these, after they 
were raised to the dignity of Augustus, were the first to split up 
the Eoman empire into two divisions, the Eastern, and the 
Western : so that Constantius got Gaul, Africa, and Italy ; while 


Illyricum, Asia, and the East, fell to the share of Galerius. 
Constantius, however, content with the dignity of Augustus, and 
the sovereignty of Gaul, refused to undertake the care of 
governing Italy and Africa ; and, thus, Galerius held the im- 
perial sceptre, alone, for two years. Constantius, writes Bede, 
who, whilst Diocletian was alive, governed Gaul and Spain, a 
man of the greatest kindness and courtesy, died in Britannia. 
He left his son Constantine, begotten of Helen, his concubine, 
as emperor of Gaul. 


Accession of the Emperor Constantine the Great — His maternal 
uncle Traherius slain hy the Scots and Britons. 

Constantine, therefore, says Eusebius, begotten of Helen, the 
concubine of Constantius, came to the throne in a.d. 319, and 
reigned thirty-one years and ten months. Immediately upon 
his father's death, being minded to usurp the whole empire, 
he assembled as many as he could of the Gauls and Britons, 
and set out towards Italy. Meanwhile, an insurrection was 
stirred up at Eome, and the Praetorian bands conferred upon 
Maximian's son, Maxentius, the title of Augustus. At that 
time, writes Eutropiics, four emperors watched over the 
commonwealth — Constantine and Maxentius, born in the 
purple, and Licinius and Maximin, who were upstarts. In the 
fifth year after he assumed the imperial dignity, Constan- 
tine vanquished Maxentius, and took possession of Italy ; then, 
in the ninth year, on Maximin being accidentally overtaken by 
death, he defeated, by sea and land, Licinius, who had married 
his sister Constantia, and slew him ; and he thus obtained 
complete sovereignty over the empire. In the tenth year of 
this reign, the holy Pope Silvester, a Roman by nationality, sat 
upon the throne of St. Peter, at Rome. He cleansed the em- 
peror from leprosy, by baptism ; whereupon the Church had 
peace for the future. For, according to all historians, it had 
laboured under a continual whirlwind of persecution ever since 
Nero's time ; although ten years are noted as more cruel than 
the rest. All the pontiffs, moreover, who had been at the head 
of the Church at Rome, down to, but exclusive of, this 
Silvester, had been martyred, save Marcus only. In these 
days, the Romans in Britannia, and the Gauls whom Constan- 
tine had sent over for their protection, were conquered 
by the Britons — but not driven out ; for there were sent to de- 


fend them some fresh legions, which brought back the Britons 
under the yoke, and also wofully defeated the Scots, and cut 
them to pieces. In the meantime, a certain commander of 
British extraction, named Octavius, rising unexpectedly, with 
a few adherents at first, destroyed the commanders of the legions, 
and the patricians who sat with them in the Prsetorium. And, 
soon, all the natives who wished to ascend the ladder of liberty 
hastily flocked to his standard, and, having cast out the enemy 
from the island, unanimously raised him to the throne. Some 
more legions were afterwards sent against him, under the com- 
mand of Traherius ; and, being vanquished by him, Octavius 
went into Scotia. He there conciliated into the security of 
peace the Scots, and even the Picts, whom, until then, the 
Britons had looked upon as their enemies ; and, returning to 
Britannia, accompanied by them, he slew this Traherius, to 
whom the whole strength of the Britons had been utterly 


Octavius, King of the Britons, restores the three nations of the 
island — the Scots, Britons, and Picts — to the unity of peace, 
as Carav^ius had formerly dmie — Accession of the sons of 

Now Octavius, being raised to the throne, stood forth as 
a faithful intercessor, and restored to the unity of peace the 
three nations of the island — the Scots, Britons, and Picts — as 
Carausius had formerly done. He further promised that he 
and his would always be ready, according to agreement, to 
lend assistance for their defence, if they would come with 
him and fight against the Eomans, whenever necessary; and 
this they each confirmed to the other with an oath. At any 
rate, this treaty of alliance was faithfully observed by all 
parties for some time, even down to the time of a certain 
tyrant, named Maximus, by the cruel craft of whose tyranny 
these nations were again separated, and almost annihilated, 
as the facts of the case will show further on. Upon the 
death of Constantine, at Nicomedia, he was succeeded by his 
three sons, Constantius, Constantine, and Constans, to wit, in 
A.D. 340. Constantius obtained the sovereignty of Eome; 
while Constantine reigned over Constantinople ; and Constans 
over Antioch. In course of time, Constantine was slain while 
he was bent on making war on his brother. Constans, 


66 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

also, was put to death by Magnentius, at a castle whicli 
bears the name of Helena, in the seventeenth year of his reign. 
But Constantius, an eminently peaceable man, after he had 
reigned twenty-four years, devoted his energies to a civil war 
against Julian the Apostate, and died on the road between Cilicia 
and Cappadocia. In the sixteenth year of this Constantius, 
Maximus, above referred to, received from him authority to 
govern Gaul, and set out with his legions; but being enticed by 
the treachery of some Britons, he left Gaul at peace, and came to 
Britannia, with his forces, composed equally of Eomans and Gauls. 
This Maximus was descended from the imperial race, being the 
cousin of Constantine the Great ; and he was accused of aim- 
ing at a share in the empire. In a catalogue of the chiefs of 
Eoman lineage who ruled over the Britons, we read that Maxi- 
mus reigned over the Britons thirty-three years, from the first 
year of Gratian onwards, that is, from a.d. 381 ; and he would 
thus be made out to have lived until the fifth year of the 
Emperor Honorius. But this we believe will not bear sifting ; 
for, in the second year of the elder Theodosius, that is, in a.d. 
388, this Maximus was taken prisoner by Theodosius, at 
Aquileia, and slain, on account of the iniquitous murder of 
Gratian, whom he had killed by treachery, rather than in fair 
fight. The truth thus appears to be that Maximus entered 
Britannia, with the intention of conquering it by force of arms, 
in the sixteenth year of Constantius, a.d. 355. 


Conatii Tiephew of Odavius, leads tlie Scots and Picts to fight against 
the tyrant Maximus, cousin of Constantine tlie Great — Maod- 
mus, afterwards, hy a feigned jpeace, cunningly separates the 
Picts from the Scots. 

When, therefore, this tjrrant Maximus came, to Britannia, the 
greater part of the Britons cleaved to him, at his first nod — 
those, especially, who had invited him over to invade their 
native land; but the remainder were steadfast in their adherence 
to Octavius. Then was civil war kindled amongst them in 
Britain, and various were the conflicts between them. Max- 
imus, however, gained the advantage in the end. But Conan, a 
Briton, who was the nephew of King Octavius, and conducted 
the war on his behalf, retreated into Scotia ; and, assembling 
his allies, the Britons of Albania, the Scots, and the Picts, and 
having collected other reinforcements from all parts, he returned, 


and gave battle to Maximus ; but he was beaten. Thereupon 
King Octavius, in despair, surrendered to the victorious Maxi- 
mus. Nevertheless, Conan again sought refuge in Scotia ; and, 
again gathering his forces together, he hastened to the theatre 
of war, and wasted the provinces, across the Humber, of the 
adherents of Maximus, ravaging them most mercilessly. And 
thus the horrors of war between them went on interruptedly 
for the space of three years ; until the strength of the Scots was 
so much exhausted by such great disasters, that they declared 
they could no longer accompany Conan into battle, as they had, 
in past battles, lost so many of the noblest men of their 
nation ; but their advice was that he should enter into nego- 
tiations for peace, without prejudice to the league between 
them. The Britons who wished to set up Conan, accordingly, 
did themselves, as Maximus had more than once besought them 
to do, make peace with him forthwith, in order to guard against 
the Scots secretly concluding a treaty with him, without their 
being parties thereto ; and also, because they saw these allies 
of theirs, without whom they would not have plunged into the 
war at all, falling away from their side. Maximus, therefore, 
writes Gmffroy, sometimes returned victorious, sometimes re- 
tired defeated, from the battles he fought with them. At last, 
after each had done the other infinite mischief, they were re- 
conciled with the approval of their friends. So Maximus, 
feigning to have established peace with the Scots for the space 
of one year, as he had promised Conan on his word of honour 
in the preliminary negotiations, privily entangled the Pictish 
king and people in a cunning alliance with himself, and roused 
them by his wiles to declare war against the Scots. He, in- 
deed, intended to bring both peoples under subjection, so he 
craftily first parted them asunder, that he might afterwards be 
able to conquer them more easily. For he knew they were in- 
vincible when joined together as one power ; and he designed 
to separate them by outwitting them, and then conquer them. 
This design was soon after duly carried out. 


The Britons and Fids, led hy Maximus, cast out the Scots 
from the Kingdom. 

Unmindful, then, of the treaty which had formerly been 
successfully concluded between them and the Scots, through 
the good offices of Carausius, the Picts, not only those who 
accompanied Maximus, but also their principal chiefs, with 



fully more cruelty than the rest, laid waste their provinces 
there ; and, rejecting all ofifers of ransom, massacred all who 
fell into their hands during their plundering expeditions, or 
after a successful engagement ; nor spared they the unarmed 
and. peaceful populace. While, however, the whole forces of 
the British nation combined lost no time in cleaving to the 
Picts, in order to destroy the Scots, Conan and his followers 
alone, although they were indignant at the disgrace they had 
incurred at the hands of Maximus, refrained from pillage and 
slaughter, and would give the Scots neither countenance nor 
help. " I am mindful," said Conan, " of the faith I plighted 
to them, and they to me, for a perpetual alliance, and I can 
by no means honestly violate it, even as they for their part 
have hitherto preserved it inviolate." Thereupon there broke 
out again between them an execrable war, far more savage than 
ever before ; in which, by and bye, neither side had compassion 
on men worn out with age, or babes suckled at the breast, or 
women in childbirth ; but all of both sexes, all at least who 
were captured, were destroyed in this deplorable carnage. But 
why dwell on this ? — 

At length proud Victory yields a hard-won smile, 

To the fierce wooing of the Pictish arms. 

The Scots are humbled. They, whose iron hand 

Dealt fear around, struck down the haughty foe, 

Wielded the sceptre o'er the cringing land, 

Yet tempered might with right ; whose faithful arm 

Had ne'er refused to strike in friendship's cause, 

Now crouch deserted, none at hand to save 

Or comfort them ; the greedy sword pursues them 

To death or banishment ; their enemy 

Judges their people ; while their high-born chieftains 

Mourn in despair their king and empire dead. 

In those days, therefore, there fell in battle the Scottish king 
Eugenius, with his son, and many chiefs and princes, and 
common people without number ; and the rest who survived 
the war, being unwilling to be subject to the enemy, as the 
rabble was, and to serve them, abandoned their estates, and 
chose rather to live free as strangers in a foreign land, than, in 
their own, to be subjected to continual slavery. The king's 
brother, also, Echach, with his son, Erth, and many others, 
went to Ireland ; others to Norway ; while some sought refuge 
in the islands, where they lay hid during the whole time of 
this affliction. And, with the exception of these islands, they 
lost the whole kingdom, about the year 360 of our era. 



The Emperor Constantius transfers the Belies of the blessed 
Ajpostle Andrew from the City of Patras to Constantinople. 

About the same time, also, the emperor Constantius, son of 
Constantino the Great, who has been already spoken of, induced 
by his zeal for the Christian religion, and stimulated by the 
especial devotion he had, long before, conceived in his heart 
towards the blessed apostle Andrew, wished to satisfy it by 
some deed. So, in the twentieth year of his reign, he went to 
Patras, a city in the country of Achaia, where the apostle 
suffered and was buried ; and, carrying off thence his relics by 
force, he brought them over, with the greatest rejoicings, to 
Constantinople, on the 9th of May, with hymns and canticles ; 
and he there placed them, with the highest honour, in caskets 
of gold and silver. Achaia is one of the seven provinces of 
Greece, and a peninsula ; for, save on its northern side, where 
it adjoins Macedon, it is hemmed in by the sea on all sides. 
Now the blessed apostle Andrew was one of the first called to 
the apostleship, and was second, or, at most, third, in order 
among the apostles. He was dark in complexion, comely in 
appearance, of middle height, and with a long beard. Some of 
his bones were brought over from Patras to Scotia, in the 
following manner. On the third night before the emperor had 
entered the city, the angel of the Lord came down, by God's 
command, to a certain holy abbot, a God-fearing man, named 
Regulus, who was the keeper of the relics, and said to him, — 
" Take with thee fit brethren, and go to the sarcophagus where 
the bones of the blessed apostle Andrew are enshrined; and 
take thence three fingers of the right hand, the bone of the 
arm hanging down from the shoulder, one tooth, and the 
knee-cap, and keep them carefully where I shall show thee, 
until I come again." Thereupon he summoned the brethren 
he had selected, and, taking away with him all the bones he 
had been enjoined to take, he concealed them in a secret place 
assigned by the angel. The emperor, then, came two days 
after, with his light-armed legions, and captured the city, after 
having caused it to be evacuated by its troops ; and, taking the 
shrine in which the relics were ensconced, he bade it be brought 
to Constantinople with becoming reverence, he himself accom- 
panying it with his army. 



The Angel of the Lord had commanded the blessed Abbot Regulus 
and his companions to take part of the relics, and go to the 
northern parts of the world without delay. 

At length, after the lapse of some years, the angel from 
heaven returned again to the abbot, and, with awful counte- 
nance, gave him the following command, in the name of 
Almighty God, and in these words : — " Take up again," said he, 
"the relics of the blessed Andrew, the beloved, which thou 
didst lately keep back by my instructions, and lose no time in 
going westwards, to the north-westerly ends of the earth, under 
the sign of the Lion, attended by a company of saints, worthy 
to be praised ; and, in whatever place the vessel which bears 
thee shall, God willing, be in danger of shipwreck, though thou 
and thy comrades shall continue in safety, there thou mayst 
know that the course of thy labours, or rather of thy lengthened 
voyage, has come to a prosperous end. Furthermore, take heed, 
and be not careless nor unmindful of this behest, that thou 
firmly lay, in that same place, the foundations of a church, to 
the honour of God's name, and to the praise of His apostle, of I 
venerated memory ; for it shall come to pass that, as in days of j 
old the East was adorned by the sound of his living preaching,] 
as thou art well aware, so shalt thou know of a truth that tho 
whole West also will be graced for everlasting by the wonders I 
which shall be worked by his relics. For that spot, forasmuch 
as chosen by God, shall be an Apostolic See for ever, and a I 
firm rock of faith ; and not undeservedly so, as being that of 
the brother of the blessed Peter, to whom the Lord said, ' Thou 
art Peter,' etc. ; and it shall likewise be the stanch and steadfast 
anchor of the kingdom wherein it is situated ; and of exceeding 
renown, for the worship of the apostle, among all the faithful, 
and especially among the kings and other potentates of the 
earth, with whose lands and gifts it shall be abundantly en- 
riched. For crowds of the faithful shall wend thither their 
toilsome way from all the ends of the earth, that they may 
receive health of body and soul ; and shall wondrously obtain 
their petitions, and retui'n to their own in joy, magnifying God 
in His apostle, with voice of praise ; for He is always glorified 
in His saints." And with these words the angel vanished from 
his sight, and the blessed Regulus addressed himself to execute 
his commands. Wishing, therefore, to comply with the instruc- 


tions of Heaven, he called to him prudent and religious men, 
conspicuous for their learning and morality, each of whom also 
the angel had previously forewarned and exhorted to become 
a participator in his pilgrimage ; and taking away with him the 
sacred relics on board ship, he went to sea, prepared to go to 
the north-west. Now, the following are the names of this com- 
pany of saints : — First, the holy Abbot Regulus, and Saint 
Damianus, the priest ; the deacons Gelasius and Thubaculus ; 
Merinacus, brother of Saint Damianus ; Nerius and Elusenius, 
from Crete ; Mirenus, Machabenus, and his brother Silvius ; 
eight hermits, namely, Felix, Sajanus, Matthew, Maurice, 
Madianus, Philip, Lucius, and Eugenius ; and three holy virgins 
of Colossia, namely, Tiiduana, Potentia, and Emerea, 


Shipwreck and first arrival in Scotia of Hegulus and his com^ 
panions, with the relics^ in the time of Hurgust, Kin^ of tJie 

AccoEDiNGLY, these holy men and virgins embarked on board 
a small vessel stored with all things needful, and went round 
the coasts of Europe along the ocean path of the inland sea, 
until, worn out by many hardships, they came to some islands 
lying in the ocean to the west. And when they had been 
wandering about an unknown sea, at the mercy of the winds, 
for the space of nearly two years, not knowing what to do, a 
gale of unusual strength suddenly sprang up from the east, and 
rushed into the sail ; and their barque was driven, by its force, 
on to the kingdom of the Picts, and struck among the rocks of 
the island of Albion, as had been foretold by the angel. The 
blessed Regulus, however, fortified by God, safely got to land, 
in joy, with his companions, on the 28th of September, with 
the emblem of our Lord's cross borne before them ; and he, 
afterwards, there dedicated a cathedral to the honour of the 
apostle, in the Swine's Wood, which is called, in the mother 
tongue, Mucrossis. In that place, by the touch of the relics, 
many astounding miracles were worked, and are worked to this 
day, such as had not until that day been seen or heard of in 
these islands since they embraced the faith ; for instance, the 
blind from their mother's womb received their sight, the dumb 
were made to speak, the lame to walk, and all who piously be- 
spoke the favour of the apostle were immediately, by God's 


mercy, healed from any sickness that possessed them. As 
miracles were thus daily multiplied, people of all nations 
hastened thither with their gifts, clapping their hands, and 
humbly sending up boundless praises to God for so great a 
patron. The king of that country at the time, moreover, Hur- 
gust, son of Forgso, taking delight in the sanctity of the place, 
built his palace there, close to the cathedral, and granted to the 
blessed Kegulus and his brethren certain lands to sow produce 
on, and to be held by them, as alms, in perpetuity. His 
example was followed by succeeding kings, according as the 
intensity of their devotion might dictate ; so that the property, 
although by small degrees, still went on increasing, until King 
Hungus, who reigned over the Picts after a.d. 800, gave the 
tenth part of the kingdom to the blessed Andrew, on account 
of the miraculous assistance he had rendered him in an expedi- 
tion against the Saxons, as will appear in Chapters xiii. and xiv. 
of Book IV. Having then founded a little cell, after the 
manner of a monastery, and told off keepers of the relics, 
these holy men went forth preaching throughout the country, 
not on horseback, but, like the apostles of old, two and two, 
sowing the word of God everywhere among the nations, and 
miraculously working wonders without number. When, there- 
fore, they had imbued these nations with the faith by their 
heavenly teaching, and had confirmed them therein by various 
miracles, the blessed Abbot Regulus died full of days, and at a 
great age, at Kilremont (the name to which that of Mucrossis 
had been altered by the king), thirty-two years after his arrival 
in the isle of Albion, through shipwreck ; during which time he 
laboured at the work of the Gospel, and pleased God ex- 


Mcudmus crushes the Scots in War, after having separated them 
from the Picts ; and subdices the latter also — Succession of 

But the nation of the Picts themselves did not remain long 
unpunished for breaking the treaty, after they had craftily de- 
ceived the Scots, and thrust them out of the kingdom ; for they 
immediately afterwards felt the weight of the tyranny of this 
same Maximus, and themselves also drank, as they deserved, 
of the same bitter draught they had wickedly compounded for 
their allies to drain.' This tyrant Maximus, when he knew 


that the Scots had been utterly driven out of Scotia, sud- 
denly brought the whole strength of his forces into Scotia; 
and, after defeating the Picts in many a battle, much weakened 
as they were by the Scots in the former war, he compelled 
them to serve him, and captured all their fortresses, as well as 
those they themselves had taken from the Scots. Meantime, 
the Emperor Constantius, while engaged in civil war against 
the son of his father's brother, Julian the Apostate, who was 
struggling to usurp the throne, died after the twenty-fourth year 
of his reign, on the way between Cilicia and Cappadocia. On his 
death, Julian attained the dignity of the empire in a.d. 364, and 
reigned a year and eight months — others, however, say, three 
years. Eutropius relates that it was seven years. He was the 
nephew of Constantine the Great, who ordained that Byzan- 
tium should be called Constantinople, after him ; for Constan- 
tine had two brothers by the same father, though not of the 
same mother, namely, Dalmachius, and Constantius ; which 
Constantius begat this Julian. Under him suffered Saint 
Damianus, Saint Gordianus, Saint Epimachus, Saint John, and 
Saint Paul, and many other saints. Then, after the death of 
Julian, who was slain by the holy martyr and soldier Mercurius, 
as was revealed to Saint Basil, Jovinian came to the throne, 
and governed during eight months. Then Valentinian the 
Great succeeded him in the empire in A.u.c. 1116, according to 
Paulus Diaconus, and a.d. 368, according to Hugo. In the reck- 
oning up of the Eoman emperors, he was the thirty-eighth, and 
he reigned eleven years. This emperor was conspicuous not 
only for physical courage, but also for wisdom, temperance, and 
justice, and for stature of body. He had previously, under the 
emperor Julian, been tribune of the Scutarii ; and, holding the 
perfect faith of Christianity, on being commanded by the 
sacrilegious emperor to sacrifice to idols or leave the army, he 
resigned of his own accord. On Julian being killed, and 
Jovinian dead, therefore, this Valentinian, who, for Christ's 
name, had lost his tribunate, obtained the empire, without de- 
lay, in the stead of his persecutor. He took his brother Valens 
to share the throne with him ; and, in the third year of his 
reign, he caused his son Gratian to be raised to the dignity of 
emperor. At this time, Maximus tyrannously invaded Britannia, 
and overcame the Scots and Picts, who were making inroads 
into the country, and after he had taken the daughter of King 
Octavius to wife, he invested himself with the kingly diadem. 

74 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Fresumpttious Attempt of Maximus upon the Roman Empire — 
He is slain — Conan, to wJiom he had handed over the Kii^g- 
dom of Armorica, thenceforth called Britannia Minor — 
Succession of Emperors. 

After the death of Valentinian at Brigio (Bregetio), a town 
of the Squadi (Quadi), of a sudden rush of blood, called 
apoplexy, his brother Valens, together with his nephew 
Gratian, governed three years and six months ; and on Valens 
being burnt to death, in a mean hovel, by the Goths, Gratian 
remained emperor with the young Valentinian, his brother. 
He began to reign in a.d. 381, and reigned six years. He made 
Theodosius Augustus coadjutor ; and when Gratian himself had 
been slain by Maximus, Theodosius governed alone, for eleven 
years, after having already reigned six years in the East, during 
Gratian's lifetime. He began to reign in a.d. 387. To pro- 
ceed : Maximus, whose name with good reason meant the 
greatest, if you add of tyrants, being exalted to the height of 
the kingship of Britannia, began to swell with pride when he 
saw the Scots wickedly beset, and thrust out into banishment, 
by their allies, the Picts ; and the victorious Picts, in their 
turn, subjected to his domination, and all through his might 
and crafty wiles ; so he began to give his tyrannous spirit 
scope against the Roman empire. For, as soon as the death of 
Valens was published, Maximus, notwithstanding that he had 
long before plighted his faith to Valentinian and his son 
Gratian while they occupied the throne, and confirmed it 
with an oath, invested himself with the purple, which he had 
tyrannously seized upon ; and, leaving the tribune Dionotus 
to be judge over the Britons, he wrested from the empire, and 
usurped, all the regions of Gaul with the government of which 
he had been intrusted under those emperors. He called him- 
self the heir of Constantine the Great, and therefore contended 
that he ought to rule over the Gauls and Britons at least. 
Then, after he had obtained the kingdom of Gaul, he handed 
over to Conan Meriodok, in A.D. 386, the kingdom of Armorica, 
in exchange for Britannia ; and, having driven out the natives, 
he peopled that country afresh with inliabitants of British blood, 
of both sexes, and thenceforth named it Britannia Minor. For 
he feared lest, if Conan returned into Britannia, the Britons 
should rise with him in revolt against the power of his majesty, 
as they were always wont to do against strangera. He, there- 


fore, brought him, and many other nobles he suspected, over 
with him to Gaul, and established them in Britannia Minor, 
together with many thousands of the common people whom 
he had brought away from the island. Maximus, writes Bede, 
a man worthy to bear the title of Augustus, had he not broken 
through his oath of allegiance, crossed over into Gaul, and there 
ensnared Gratian by a stratagem, and slew him. Theodosius, 
however, in the second, or, according to others, the first year 
of his reign, being not unmindful of the benefits he had received 
from Gratian, slew that stern and terrible enemy of his, Maxi- 
mus, at Aquileia, and restored Gratian's brother, Valentinian, 
to the empire of the West. In the time of the elder Theodosius, 
as we read in Sigibert, Saint Patrick, a Scot, was, with his 
sisters, sold in Ireland; and, while he was swineherd to a 
certain chieftain there, he oftentimes held converse with an 


The most Christian deeds of the Emperor Theodosius the Elder, 
and of his wife Placella. 


On the death of the Tyrant Maximus, the Scots begin to win 
lack their Kingdom — Succession of Emperors. 

Now Theodosius, when the commonwealth was thoroughly 
tranquillized, went to his long rest by a natural death, at Milan. 
He was succeeded, in a.d. 397, by his two sons, Honorius and 
Arcadius, whom he had begotten of Placella ; and they reigned 
together for thirteen years. Sigibert tells us that Saint Martin 
died in the second year of their reign, but Prosper says it was 
in the fifth. In the time of these emperors, moreover, the 
Scottish nation, which had long been prostrate, and scattered 
abroad, began, immediately after the death of Maximus, to raise 
itself up again, and bethink itself of wreaking condign vengeance 
on its enemies for the wrongs they had so long inflicted upon it. 
When therefore Maximus had been put to death by Theodosius, 
and his son, Victor, whom he had left to govern Gaul while he 
made for Italy, had also been made away with by him, one of 
his ofi&cers, Count Andragatius, on hearing of this, threw him- 
self headlong into the sea off a vessel ; and when his party had 


no longer any hope of being revived, Gracian Municeps was, by 
some of the Britons, created emperor in his stead in Britannia. 
Others, however, who feared his tyranny, lest he should wrong 
them as Maximus had done, cut him off soon after his eleva- 
tion. Paulus and Bede have the following : — In Britannia, Con- 
stantine was chosen in Gratian's stead, from the lowest ranks 
of the soldiery, only because of the hope inspired by his name, 
without any worth of his own to recommend him. He passed 
over into Gaul, and did more harm than good to the common- 
wealth ; and he sent his son Constans, whom of a monk he had 
created Caesar, into Spain. Honorius, hearing of this, and dis- 
cerning that the power of the commonwealth was being shaken 
by continual disasters, sent into Gaul, with an army, his son- 
in-law. Count Constantius, an energetic man, who, as soon as he 
had marched thither, put Constantino to death at Aries. His 
son CoDstans, also, who, from being a monk, became Caesar, was 
slain by Count Gerontius at Vienne. Geoffroy, indeed, informs 
us that these two, father and son, were killed in Britannia by 
the treachery of the Picts ; various histories, however, hold a 
contrary opinion. 




Fergus, son of Urth, joiTis the Picts, arid regains the Kingdom 
which had been, through the Treacher^/ of the Tyrant Maxi- 
mum, held by the Romans and Britons for Forty-three Years. 

While, therefore, these and other evils everywhere befell the 
Komans, and Britannia, moreover, was labouring under civil dis- 
cord, the Picts, whose fortresses Maximus had previously taken 
from them and handed over to his own troops to garrison, wish- 
ing to be loosed from the chain of slavery, secretly renewed 
their former treaty of peace and reciprocity with the Scots ; ex- 
horting and beseeching them to join their forces to theirs and 
recover the kingdom and liberties of their forefathers, when a 
fit opportunity should present itself. The latter, for their part, 
were prepared to listen to their suggestions ; but they made up 
their minds to beware most carefully of the treachery they had 
formerly experienced at the hands of that false nation ; so as 
never, in future, to undertake, in concert with them, any general 
war, or predatory expeditions on a smaller scale, nor to be so rash 
as to take up a position in the forefront of the battle, between a 
mistrusted friend and a declared enemy ; for the incautious are 
oftentimes overthrown by their treacherous enemies, after a 
treaty has just been concluded between them. In a.d. 403, 
therefore, the sixth year of the emperors Arcadius and Honorius, 
— that is, the year 733 of the reign of the Scots in the island of 
Albion, 1903 years having elapsed from their origin and first 
going forth out of Egypt (namely, from the time of Scota to that of 
Fergus, son of Erth), in the year 5589, to wit, from the creation 
of the world, Fergus, the son of Erth, the son of Echadius, who was 
brother to the King Eugenius who had been overthrown by the 
tyrant Maximus, being an energetic youth, excelling all others 
in courage, of great bodily strength and daring, forward withal, 
and mighty in battle, fearlessly arrived, with his two brothers 
Loam and Fenegus, and his fellow-countrymen, the Irish and 

78 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Norican islanders, in the kingdom of Scotia, which was his by 
right ; and he drove the enemy far away out of the country 
wherein they had long been dwelling. 

The sails are spread to the fast-following breeze, 

And swarming fleets rush through the hissing seas. 

A glittering host of heroes throng the decks, 

Eound their proud chief ; who toil nor danger recks, 

But hastens to his native soil, to rear 

His prostrate throne, and break the oppressor's spear. 

The dauntless Lion floats above his head, 

Emblem of his fierce valour, bloody red. 

Twice twenty years and three the Scots, forlorn. 

The whirlwind fury of their foes had borne ; 

But now their day of hope broke calm and clear, 

A king of their own kith was drawing near, 

And they to freedom fly, to every heart so dear. 

Moreover, while Fergus was advancing with his army through 
the country, which, with its inhabitants, he gradually restored 
to peace, the Pictish tribes met him, with their columns ; and, 
for fear that a single jot of hatred or perfidy should be supposed 
to lurk amongst them, they, of their own accord, threw open 
the gates of all the Scottish castles and fortresses, which, by the 
permission of Maximus, they had held up to that time, and 
restored them to the Scots. 


The same continued — Expulsion of the Eomans and Britons 
from his Dominions. 

Be that as it may, the Scots and Picts fetched over the Ves- 
piliones, from Dacia, and the Huns, to disturb the peace of the 
British sea, promising them much plunder, and a secure shelter 
thenceforth, against the Romans, in the harbours of their king- 
doms. The above-mentioned nations, therefore, the Scots and 
Picts, being united, renewed the treaties between them by a 
solemn oath, for both were in the same predicament ; land, 
ranging through the country, they cast out the strangers from 
their lands ; nor would they grant any delay to any one — for a 
prudent man will " ne'er delay when fortune serves " — nay, all 
those, of whatever condition, who did not snatch a hasty de- 
parture out of the country, or who did not, on being summoned 
to do so, willingly surrender the castles they had held up to 
that time, were immediately besieged, taken, and put to death. 


So this Fergus united under his dominion, within the space 
of three years from that time, the whole extent of the kingdom, 
on hoth sides of the Scottish firth, which had been possessed by 
his fathers from days of yore, — that is, from the stony moor 
and Inchegal to the Orkney islands. From the first king of this 
country, Fergus, son of Ferchard, down to this king, Fergus, 
son of Erth, inclusive, there reigned, in this island, forty-five 
kings of the same nation and race ; but we refrain, for the pre- 
sent, from specifying the dates of their respective reigns, as we 
have not found them given fully. From this king onward, 
then, it will be convenient to insert the years of the reign of 
every king in succession, down to the present time, according 
to various chronicles ; so that it may be clearly shown forth to 
posterity who were the kings who reigned, and what the dates 
and duration of their reigns. This king, therefore, reigned 
sixteen years in Scotland ; during the last three of which he 
was the first king of Scottish descent to reign in the land of the 
Picts, beyond Drumalban, — that is, beyond the backbone of Al- 
bania, from the mountains to the Scottish sea, where none of 
his predecessors had held the sovereignty before ; but whether 
he did so by virtue of the sword, or by some other title, I 
have not been able to ascertain. So the Scots and Picts, after 
they had conjointly, as above related, driven out the Eomans 
and Britons from their own homes, made frequent raids, in 
dense bodies, into their kingdom of Britannia, which was, at that 
time, entirely bereft of the help of fighting men ; and, as is 
noted in divers chronicles, they slew part of the wretched 
populace, and part, who were left in life, they led off into 


Cruel slaughter of the Britons and the Roman Legion hy the Scots 
and Picts — Building of a dyke, called Grimsdyke, across the 

For Maximus had taken away with him all the warlike 
youth of the island that he could find, and left none but un- 
armed peasants, who, as they could not resist the fierceness of 
the Scots and Picts, nor cope with them in war, abandoned 
their l^nds, and fled from before them as from a fire. Indeed 
Maximus had, at that time, oppressed them so tyrannically, 
and dispersed them by his cruel craft, that they had not 
up to that time, — and have not, to the present day, been able 
to attain to their former condition, or in any wise to prosper. 


Bede has thus described the cruel disasters of those days, and 
the building of a second wall across the island : — From that 
time, Britain, entirely stripped of armed soldiery, and of the 
flower of its active youth, which had been led away by the 
rashness of tyrants, never more to return home, was wholly 
exposed to rapine, as being totally ignorant of the art of war. 
Whereupon it soon lay, for many years, stunned and groaning 
by reason of two very savage nations from over the sea, the 
Scots from the north-west, and the Picts from the north-east. 
We speak of these nations as being from over the sea, not 
on account of their being seated out of Britain, but because 
they were remote from the Britons' part thereof ; two gulfs of 
the sea lying between them, which run in far and broad into 
the land of Britain, one from the eastern sea, the other from 
the western. The eastern has in the midst of it the town of 
Guidy ; the western has above it, that is, to the right of it, 
the town of Alcluit, which in their language signifies the Eock 
of Cluit (Clyde), for it is beside the river of that name. On 
account of the troublesomeness of these nations, the Britons 
sent messengers to Eome with letters, imploring assistance with 
tearful prayers, and promising perpetual subjection, provided 
the impending enemy were driven away from them. An armed 
legion was at once told off for this service ; and, on arriving in 
the island, engaged the enemy, swept down a great multitude 
of them, and drove the rest out of the territory of the allies ; 
and, having thus delivered them from the most cruel oppression, 
the Romans advised them to construct a wall, in the meantime, 
across the island, between the two seas, for a bulwark to keep 
off the enemy ; and then they returned home with great triumph. 
But as the wall the Britons constructed across the island, as 
they had been directed, was not of stone, — as they had no artist 
capable of such a work, — but of sods, it was of no use. How- 
ever, they drew it between the two firths or inlets of the sea, 
which we have spoken of; to the end that, where the pro- 
tection of the water was wanting, the vallum might serve as a 
bulwark to defend their borders from the irruption of the enemy. 
Of which work there erected, — that is, of the valhim, — there 
are most evident remains to be seen to this day. It begins at 
about two miles distance from the monastery of Abircornyng, 
that is, Abercom, on the east, and stretching westwards, ends 
near the city of Alcluit (Dumbarton). After the death of 
Arcadius, Honorius reigned fourteen years with his brother's 
son Theodosius, a boy of eight years of age, after having already 
reigned thirteen years with his brother Arcadius. He began 
to reign in a.d. 411. 



Victory of the Eoman Legion and the Britons over the Scots and 
Picts, in a War in which fell King Fergus and a great 
number of his People and of the Picts. 

These events, indeed, are thus related by Paulus : — At this 
period, the Britons, unable to endure the molestations of the 
Scots and Picts, sent to Eome to entreat assistance against their 
enemies. A legion of soldiers was, accordingly, immediately 
sent to them, and swept down a great multitude of the Scots 
and Picts, driving the rest out of the borders of Britannia. As 
soon, therefore, as these had been thrust out of Britannia, the 
Britons, who, by the help of the Eomans, had the upper hand 
in the war, constructed the aforesaid wall from ocean to ocean, 
as they had been ordered to do ; and finished it off, at enormous 
expense, by strengthening it with towers, at intervals, such 
that the sound of a trumpet could reach from one to the other. 
It begins, on the east, upon the southern shore of the Scottish sea, 
near the town of Carriden ; then stretches on across the island, 
for twenty- two miles, with the city of Glasgow to the south of 
it, and stops on the bank of the river Clyde, near Kirkpatrick. 
After this frightful and ruinous struggle, already noticed, in 
which the Eomans and Britons were victorious, and Fergus, the 
renowned king of the Scots, and a great multitude of his people, 
and of the Picts, were destroyed, those of the Scots who sur- 
vived would not on any account submit to the Eomans and 
Britons ; but, with the exception of a few of the common 
peasants, they left their native land desert, and fled. For they 
durst not linger beyond the southern firth any longer — although 
certain seers of that time, notwithstanding so great a disaster 
had befallen both nations in the war, sang that the Scots would, 
without doubt, gain possession of the whole island. Fergus 
left there sons under age, Eugenius, Dongardus, and Constantius, 
whom he had begotten of the daughter of Gryme, the Briton, 
descended from the stock of the leader Fulgentius. The emperor 
Maximus had warily driven this Gryme from his dominions, as 
being the never-failing abettor of Conan and the Scots. When, 
however, Eugenius was raised to the sovereignty of the kingdom 
upon the death of his father, as he was young, and of tender 
years, the chiefs appointed his grandfather Gryme governor to 
him and his brothers, and protector of the kingdom, inasmuch 
as he excelled in the art of war, and had also himself derived 
his origin from the race of their own ancient kings. Since, 

VOL. 11. F 


therefore, they knew him to be well fitted for the government, 
in time of peace as well as in time of war, they chose him out 
to be their leader, until his grandsons should have attained to^ 
years of puberty, and become able to govern. v^l 


Accession of King Eugenius, son of Farchard — He, together unth 
his grandfather, Gryme, breaks down Grymisdyhe — A second 
legion drives the Scots and Picts hack across the Tyne. 

King Eugenius, being at length raised to the throne of the 
kingdom, began to reign, with his grandfather, the consul Gryme, 
in A.D. 419, — that is, in the ninth year of the emperor Honorius, 
and reigned thirty-three years. Meanwhile the Eoman legion 
had gone back, after the building of the wall ; so he first care- 
fully set in order the matters pertaining to the peace of the 
country, and then turned his thoughts to war. For, unable to 
brook that the Eomans and Britons should unjustly keep back 
the lands to the north of the Humber, some of which had, by 
riglits, before the war, belonged to him by hereditary succession 
(those formerly of Fulgentius, to wit), and to other nobles of the 
Scots and Picts, he gathered reinforcements from all directions, 
and went, in great strength, to the said wall ; and, having first 
duly ordered his engines, he broke it down to the very ground, 
while its guards either escaped by flight, or were slain. Of this 
dyke, or wall, there are evident signs and genuine traces to be 
seen to this day. It got its name from Gryme, and is called 
Grymisdyke by the inhabitants. In short, having broken down 
the wall, they gained possession of the lands they had formerly 
held, and brought the natives under their sway, as of old. 
Bede has the following : — But soon their former enemies, when 
they saw that the Roman soldiers were gone, came by sea, 
and broke into their borders, slaying all things, and tranjpling, 
ovemmning, and mowing down, like ripe corn, everything in 
their path. Accordingly the Britons again sent messengers to 
Rome, imploring aid with tearful voice, lest their wretched 
country should be utterly blotted out, — lest the name of a 
Roman province should, through the forwardness of stranger 
nations, be dimmed in the lustre wherewith it had so long slione 
among them, and become contemptible. A legion is again sent, 
and arriving unexpectedly in the autumn, made great slaughter 
of the enemy, obliging all those who could escape to flee beyond 
the seas ; whereas before, these were wont to carry off their 


yearly booty across the seas, without any soldiery to withstand 
them. This legion also was sent by Honorius ; and those 
nations, forasmuch as they had in their various incursions been 
overawed by it, durst not hazard a pitched battle ; but retreated, 
though not far, beyond the northern banks of the rivers Esk 
and Tyne, to seek shelter, where they could lie hid until that 
legion should go back. 


The Wall which the Emperor Severus had formerly commanded 
to he huilt across the island, hetween Gateshead and Carlisle, 
repaired — Return of the Legion — Election of the first King 
of the Franks. 

Then the Eomans, says Bede, declared to the Britons that 
they could no longer be troubled with such toilsome expedi- 
tions for their protection. They advised them rather to take 
up arms themselves, and undertake the task of coping with their 
foes, who could prove too strong for them for no other reason 
than their being themselves relaxed in slothfulness. Thinking, 
too, that it would also be of some advantage to the allies 
whom they were forced to abandon, they set up a strong stone 
wall, in a straight course from sea to sea, between the towns 
which had been built there for fear of the enemy, and where 
Severus had formerly made a vallum. This well-known wall, 
which is still plainly to be seen, they constructed at the public 
and private expense, the Britons also lending them a hand. It 
is eight feet in breadth, and twelve in height ; and they built it 
in a straight line from east to west, and put a row of towers at 
intervals, as is to this day evident to beholders. As soon as 
tliis wall was speedily built, they gave that slothful people 
brave advice, and furnished them patterns for a supply of arms ; 
and so they bid the allies farewell, as though never more to return. 
Now, in the ninth year of Honorius, according to Sigihert, on the 
death of Samno and Marcomirus, leaders of the Franks, that 
people resolved, in a general meeting, that they also would have 
a king, like other nations. So they appointed Pharamund king, 
the son of their leader Marcomirus ; and he reigned eleven years. 
But the emperor Honorius, after thirteen years had gone by, 
during which he had ruled with his brother Arcadius, and 
again other fourteen years with his nephew Theodosius, de- 
parted this life. 



The Scots destroy the Wall, and bring slaughter upon 
the Britons. 


We read in Paulus : — But when the Eomans went away, the 
enemy came over again by sea, and trampled and consumed 
everything they came across. Meanwhile, says Bede, the 
Eomans returned home ; and the Scots and Picts, on their side, 
learning their refusal to return, immediately became more con- 
fident than their wont, seized upon the whole of the extreme 
northern part of the island, as far as the wall, and settled there. 
A slothful body of troops, therefore, was stationed on the top of 
the fortification, where day and night they pined away with 
trembling hearts, benumbed with fear. The enemy, on the 
other hand, attacked them unceasingly with hooked weapons, 
with which the cowardly defenders were miserably dragged 
from the walls, and dashed to the ground. Why dwell on this ? 
They forsook the cities and the wall, fled, and were dispersed ; 
while the enemy pursued, and massacres more cruel than any 
before followed thick. For as lambs are scattered abroad by 
wild beasts, even so were the wretched citizens by their enemies. 
Accordingly, being cast out from their homes and possessions, 
they mitigated the threatening danger of famine by robbing and 
plundering one another ; augmenting external calamities by 
domestic broils, until the whole country was left entirely desti- 
tute of the sustenance of food, save such relief as was afforded 
by the chase. Meanwhile this famine distressed the Britons 
more and more, and left to posterity a lasting memory of its 
ravages ; compelling many of them to yield as vanquished 
men to these troublesome robbers. Now this above-men- 
tioned wall starts, on the east, from the southern bank of the 
river Tyne, at Goat's Head, which is pronounced Gateshead in 
the English tongue, where formerly Severus commanded a wall 
and vallum to be made, opposite Newcastle ; and stretching on- 
wards for sixty miles, ends, on the west, at the river Esk, other- 
wise called Scotiswath (Solway), near Carlisle. After the death 
of Honorius, this Theodosius the younger, his nephew through 
his brother Arcadius, succeeded to the empire in a.d. 425, and 
reigned by himself three years. In the third year, he created 
Valentinian, the son of his aunt Placidia and Constantius, 
emperor, to reign with him ; and they reigned together twenty- 
three years. 



Arrival in Scotland of Saint Falladius, the first hisJiop and 
teacher of the Scots, although these had long before embraced 
the Faith. 

In the second year of Tlieodosius, likewise, Celestinus I. being 
a Eoman by nation, and begotten of one named Prisons, his 
father, sat eight years, one month, and eight days, as forty-first 
Pope of the Eoman Church. This Pope appointed that the 
Psalm "Judge me, Lord, etc.'' should be said before the 
Introit of the Mass ; and that the one hundred and fifty Psalms 
of David should be chanted by all antiphonally before the sacri- 
fice. This was not previously done — only the Epistle of Paul 
and the Holy Gospel were said. By this ordinance, the Introit 
of the Mass, the Gradalia, and the Hallelujah, were taken from 
the Psalms ; and the Offertory before the sacrifice, and the 
prayers while communicating, began to be sung with modula- 
tion at Mass, in the Eoman Church. In the year 429, according 
to Sigibert, — or, according to others, 430, — Saint Palladius was 
ordained by Pope Celestinus, and sent, as their first bishop, to 
the Scots who believed in Christ. To which also Bede bears 
witness. Socrates, however, has these prefatory words : — Saint 
Palladius was the disciple of Evagrius, who was the disciple of 
the two Macharii — of whom, as of the other holy fathers of 
Egypt, his book has a full account. He says, too : — It behoves 
us both to learn what we know not, and faithfully to teach 
that we do know, etc. We read in the Polychronicon : — In A.D. 
430, Pope Celestinus sent Saint Palladius into Scotia, as the 
first bishop therein. It is, therefore, fitting that the Scots 
should diligently keep his festival and Church commemora- 
tions ; for, by his word and example, he with anxious care 
taught their nation, — that of the Scots, to wit, — the orthodox 
faith, although they had for a long time previously believed in 
Christ. Before his arrival, the Scots had, as teachers of the 
faith and administrators of the Sacraments, priests only, or 
monks, following the rite of the primitive Church. So he arrived 
in Scotland with a great company of clergy, in the eleventh year 
of the reign of king Eugenius ; and the king freely gave him a 
place of abode where he wanted one. 



Account of Saint Palladius continued — Saint Servanus — Saint 
Kentigern — Saint Tcrnan — Saint Ninian. 

Moreover Palladius had as his fellow- worker in preaching 
and administering the Sacraments a most holy man, Servanus ; 
who was ordained bishop, and created, by Palladius, his coad- 
jutor — one worthy of him in all respects — in order to teach 
the people the orthodox faith, and with anxious care perfect the 
work of the Gospel ; for Palladius was not equal to discharging 
alone the pastoral duties over so great a nation. In the History 
of Saint Kentigern we read : — This Servanus was the disciple of 
the reverend Bishop Palladius, almost in the very earliest days 
of the Scottish church. Palladius himself was, in the above- 
mentioned year of our Lord's incarnation, sent by the holy Pope 
Celestinus to be the first bishop of the Scots, who had long been 
believers. On his arrival in Scotia, he found Saint Servanus 
there, and called him to work in the vineyard of the Lord of 
Sabaoth; and when, afterwards, the latter was sufficiently imbued 
with the teaching of the Church, Palladius appointed him his 
suffragan over all the nation of the Scots. So runs the story in 
that work. The holy bishop Terranan likewise was a disciple 
of the blessed Palladius, who was liis godfather, and his foster- 
ing teacher and furtherer in all the rudiments of letters and of 
the faitli. Kentigern, again, was a disciple of Saint Servanus, 
by whom he was washed in the font of holy baptism, and 
thoroughly indoctrinated in all the dogmas and learning of 
the Christian religion. He afterwards, while yet a youth, was 
endowed with so much perfection and grace vouchsafed from 
above, that God deigned to work great and astounding miracles 
through him. Sig^ert tells us : — Moreover, in the fifth year 
after Palladius arrived in Scotia, this same Pope Celestinus 
sent Saint Patrick to the Irish Scots, a man of British descent, 
the son of Chonches, sister of Saint Martin, bishop of Tours. He 
was named Suchat at his baptism, Magonius by Saint Germanus, 
and Patricius by Saint Celestinus, by whom also he was ordained 
bishop ; and, during sixty years, in which he excelled in learn- 
ing, miracles, and holiness, he converted to Christ the whole 
island of Ireland. They say that the bishop Saint Ninian died in 
the time of this emperor Theodosius tlie younger ; for we know 
of a truth, from passages in various histories, that he flourished 
uuder the administration of that emperor's father and uncle, 
Arcadius and Honorius ; because it was in the fifth year of 


their reign that the blessed Martin, bishop of Tours, died ; in 
healthful conversation with whom, w'hile yet living in the flesh, 
Saint ISTinian was privileged to be solaced. He also preached 
to the tribes in the southern parts of the country, beyond the 
Scottish firth, which had not yet been found worthy, like the 
northern Scots, to receive Christ's law. He was a man of 
wondrous virtue and holiness before God and man, and during 
his life, nay, after his death, even until now, a marvellous 
worker of numberless miracles. Hence Gregory says : — No 
wonder the elect can work many marvels while abiding in the 
flesh, when their very dead bones oftentimes live in miracles ! 


The Wall hroJcen down hy the Scots and Ficts, whence its name— 
The Britons of Albania subjected to the sway of the Scots. 

Now, inuring the want occasioned by the aforesaid famine, 
the Scotl ,sh and Pictish chiefs were joined by some of the Irish, 
and, rowing across the rivers Tyne and Esk, in ships of divers 
kinds, to both ends of the wall, they overran, destroyed, and 
consumed all the country round about. After some little time, 
having brought under their sway some of the natives there, 
put some to flight, and others to the sword, they received the 
whole country, from sea to sea, under the shelter of their sway ; 
and it has hitherto been found impossible to drive them out 
thence. vengeance of Heaven, exclaims Geoffroy, for past 
wickedness ! madness in the tyrant Maximus, to have 
brought about the absence of so many warlike soldiers ! If they 
had been at hand in this disastrous overthrow, there could not 
have come upon them any people they would not have driven to 
flight. Meanwhile, indeed, as we saw in the above passage from 
£ede, the enemy plied them unceasingly with hooked weapons, 
wherewith the wretched populace were dragged off the walls, 
and cruelly dashed to the ground. Why dwell on this ? The 
cities and the lofty wall were forsaken, and flight, dispersion, 
much more than usually hopeless, pursuit by the enemy, and 
cruel slaughter, came thick upon the citizens, in quick succes- 
sion. Thus the conquerors won the country on both sides of 
the wall, and began to inhabit it. Then they speedily summoned 
the peasantry, with whose hoes and mattocks, pickaxes, forks, 
and spades, they all, without distinction, set to work to dig 
broad clefts and frequent breaches through the wall, whereby 


they might everywhere readily pass backwards and forwards. 
From these breaches, therefore, did this structure take its present 
name, which in the English tongue is Thirlitwall — in Latin 
it would be murits perforatus (drilled wall). In the twelfth 
year, also, of the reign of King Eugenius, the devil appeared to 
the Jews in the Isle of Crete, in the likeness of Moses, and 
promised to lead them dry shod through the sea to the promised 
land. Great numbers were thus killed and drowned, and the 
remainder were converted to Christ. 


The Britons yet again write to tlie Romans, Litorius and Aetius 
to wit, for Succours, which they do not obtain. 

While, therefore, the British people were attacked on either 
side by these and like disasters, Gryme, the chief of the forces 
and first consul to King Eugenius, died a natural death, at an 
advanced age, after he had fulfilled the duties of protector for 
nineteen years, during which he had not only ruled the kingdom 
nobly, but even more nobly restored it to its olden state. Then, 
after his death, the king reigned fourteen years alone. He, like- 
wise, combining with the Picts, lost no time in stirring up a cruel 
war against the Romanized Britons ; and he attacked them with 
the whole strength of the combined forces. The Britons, on the 
other hand, unable to withstand him, speedily sent to the Roman 
patricians, who were vicegerents of the commonwealth under the 
emperora Theodosius and Valentinian — namely Aetius, and 
Litorius, whose authority was second only to that of Aetius — be- 
seeching them not to refuse to vouchsafe them such help against 
their fierce enemies, the Scots and Picts, as other subjects of the 
Romans would obtain. To Aetius, says Bede, the remainder of 
the poor Britons sent a letter, which began thus : — " To the 
Consul Aetius, the groans of the Britons." And in the course 
of the letter they thus unfolded their woes : — " The barbarians 
drive us back to the sea ; the sea drives us back to the bar- 
barians. Between them, two kinds of death are in store for 
us : we are either murdered or drowned." Yet neither could 
they, for all that, get any assistance from him, forasmuch as he 
was at that time engaged in very serious wars with Bledla and 
Attila, kings of the Huns. As, therefore, they got no aid from 
them, they sorrowfully returned home, and announced their re- 
buff to their fellow-countrymen. Faulus tells us : — The Britons, 
likewise, being again hard pressed by the ravages of the Scots 


and Picts, sent Aetius a letter full of tears and distress, implor- 
ing aid from him as soon as possible. AVhen, however, Aetius 
would not listen to them, seeing that he was engaged against 
enemies nearer home, some of the Britons made an energetic 
resistance, and drove away the foe ; while others were forced by 
the enemy to submit. Finally, the Scots and Picts subdued the 
uttermost part of this island, and made it their habitation ; 
wherefrom it has hitherto been found impossible to expel them. 
Meanwhile, the emperor Theodosius, after reigning sixteen years, 
besides the one-and-twenty years he had already reigned with 
his uncle Honorius, of which time he had spent twenty-five 
years associated with his son-in-law Valentinian, died at Milan, 
wasted by sickness, and was buried there. At this time Saint 
John the Baptist revealed his head, near what had formerly 
been the dwelling of King Herod, to two eastern monks who 
came to Jerusalem. 


The Britons and their King Vortigern, in despair, invite the 
heathen nation of the Saxons to help them against the Scots 
a7id Picts. 

Some Chronicles have the following : — The rest of the Britons, 
however, being in constant fear of the onslaught of the Scots, 
and no longer trusting to the protection of the Eomans, by the 
advice of their king invited over the nation of the Saxons, under 
two leaders, Hors and Hengist, to help in their defence, in a.d. 
447, or, rather, 449, the thirty-third year of King Eugenius. After 
Maximus had drained the island of Britannia of soldiers to guard 
it, says Sigihert, the Scots and the Picts, and the other nations 
with them, poured into the island, and began to waste the unwar- 
like population and the whole land, by slaughter and pillage. 
Then a further mischief was added to this ; for King Vortigern 
invited over the nation of the heathen Saxons, to provide for his 
own safety, and attack the enemy. Some Chronicles again say : 
— In the year stated above, when the wickedness and weakness 
of mind of Vortigern, the king of the Britons, became known to 
all the nations round about, there rose up against him the Scots 
on the north-west, and the Picts on the north, who assailed the 
kingdom of Britannia with the most galling outrages and molesta- 
tions. For, consuming everything with fire and sword, pillage 
and rapine, they crushed that sinful nation, who abetted the 
pride and extravagance of their king ; so that the masses, as 

90 JOHX OF fordun's chronicle 

corrupt as their king, were overthrown in a common vengeance ; 
while those of that miserable people whom the inroads of the 
enemy had not reached, were clean consumed by the severe 
famine. And thus the multitude, as if rolled and crushed 
between two millstones, were assailed by pestilence, and 
attacked by the sword, so that the living were not even 
enough to bury the dead. So the king, with his people left 
desolate and worn-out by the inroads of war, knew not what to 
do to oppose the irruptions of the enemy, and sank forlorn. 
They entered into consultation, says Bede, as to what should be 
done, and where they should look for protection, to avoid or 
repel the incursions, so fierce and so frequent, of the northern 
nations ; and they all, with their king Vortigern, agreed to call 
over the Saxon nation to their aid, from the parts beyond the 
sea — which, as the issue of the matter more clearly proved, was 
surely contrived by the will of God, that evil might come upon 
the wicked. For, in the year above noted, the nation of the 
Angles or Saxons came over at first in three long ships, on the 
invitation of Vortigern, king of the Britons, and took up their 
abode in a place in Kent, as though prepared to fight for the 
country. These came over from the three strongest nations of 
Germany, that is, the Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. Moreover, 
from the Angles, that is, from the tribes sprung from that 
country which is called Angulus, all the other nations of the 
Angles derived their name. 


First arrival of the Saxons — Various reverses inflicted and 
suffered on both sides. 

Accordingly, as the Romans stood aJoof from the defence 
of the Britons, the Saxons were deliberately called in by the 
general voice. These, being earnestly desirous of renewing 
afresh, in conjunction with the Britons, the war against the 
Scots, after their arrival proceeded at once to Albania ; and, 
having made a hostile attack upon it, they carried off a great 
deal of plunder. The Scots, also, on the other hand, together 
with the Picts and that part of the Britons which was 
subject unto them — for in those days they were permanently 
settled throughout Albania — gathered their columns together, 
and plundered the country across the Humber, in their wonted 
manner. Thereupon the Saxon barbarians, says Gcoffroy, on 
the ratification of the treaty, abode with Vortigern at his court. 


But the Scots and Picts formed an exceedingly large army; and, 
issuing forth from Albania, began to lay waste the northerly 
parts of the island. When, therefore, Vortigern heard of this, 
he assembled his own troops and the Saxons, and, marching 
against them across the Humber, forthwith routed the enemy, 
who were accustomed to victory. So Yortigern gave Hengist 
broad acres in the region of Lindissey. Now, although, for 
the space of nearly two years, frequent reverses were inflicted 
on either side, still no pitched battle was fought. But the 
Saxons craftily suggested to Vortigern that if he could con- 
trive to get some more stipendiaries from their country, they 
would easily enable him to overcome his aforesaid enemies. 
This was accordingly done. For, as Bede relates, swarms of 
those before-mentioned nations poured eagerly into the island ; 
and the numbers of the strangers began to increase so much 
that they became a terror to the natives themselves who 
had invited them. Geoffroy resumes : — When the Britons saw 
this, fearing their treachery, they told the king to drive them 
out of the borders of his kingdom; but Vortigern evaded 
acquiescence in their advice, as he loved the Saxons above all 
other nations, on account of Hengist's daughter Eowen, whom 
he had taken to wife some time before. Thereupon the Britons 
deserted Vortigern, and suddenly set up as king, to drive out 
the barbarians, Vortimer, the king's son, whom he had begotten 
before. Now Vortimer, the son of Vortigern, says William, 
perceiving that he and liis Britons were being undone by the 
craft of the Saxons, turned his thoughts to driving them out, 
seven years after their arrival. 


Accession of Dongardus, hrother to Eiigenius — Alliance of Vorti- 
gerris son. King Vortimer , then King of the Britons, with 
the Scots, against the Saxons — TTieir Struggle for Britain. 

So Eugenius, when the days of his unhappy reign were ful- 
filled, died of a severe iUness — or, as is related in a certain his- 
tory, fell in battle with the Britons and English, south of the 
Humber ; and his brother Dongardus was raised to the throne 
of the kingdom in his stead, and reigned five years. He began 
to reign in a.d. 452, in the first year of the emperor Martian, 
who succeeded Theodosius ; which Martian, likewise, reigned 
six years and six months. Now, in the second year of JDon- 
gardus, Vortimer, of whom we have spoken above, being, on a 


sudden, proclaimed king during his father's lifetime, felt that it 
would be unsafe rashly and precipitately to come into collision 
with the Saxons, before making friends with the Scots, for fear 
those two nations should combine their strength, and make an 
onslaught together upon the Britons ; so he despatched messen- 
gers to King Dongardus, to induce him, in security of mind, to 
renew, against the heathen Saxons, the wonted treaty they had 
formerly concluded against the Eomans, and to observe it faith- 
fully in all respects. The king, accordingly, joyfully acceded to 
all their demands on every point ; and they reported to their own 
king, in due order, all that was done and agreed upon. Vortimer, 
however, seized a fit opportunity, and, with his men, suddenly 
fell upon the Saxons, slaying their leader Hors, Hengist's 
brother, with many others, in the first battle. On the death of 
the chief Hors, the Saxons set up as king his brother Hengist, 
who is reported to have fought against the Britons three times 
in the same year; but, unable to withstand the prowess of 
Vortimer, he took refuge in the Isle of Thanet, where he was 
harassed by daily sea-fights. At length the Saxons barely 
managed to embark on board their boats, and return to Ger- 
many, leaving their wives and little ones behind. On Vortimer 
being afterwards taken away by fatal destiny — who so loathed 
his father's indolence that he would have governed the kingdom 
mightily, had God permitted it — Vortigern was again promoted 
to the government of the kingdom, and the Saxons came back 
to Britain. The emperor Martian died in the sixth year of his 
reign, and after an equal number of months had gone by ; and 
to him succeeded Leo the Great, who reigned sixteen years. 
But Dongardus died in the fifth year of Martian. 


Eeturn of the Saxons after Vortimer's Death, with a greater 
multitude of the Heathen — Death of the British Chieftains 
by Treachery, 

In A.D. 461, therefore, Hengist, having heard of the death of 
Vortimer, who was cut off by poison administered by his step- 
mother, Kowen, came over to Britain, accompanied by three 
thousand armed men. When, however, the arrival of so great a 
multitude was announced to Vortigern, who had been again 
created king, and to the chiefs of the kingdom, they were ex- 
tremely indignant, and determined to do battle with them. This 
was secretly hinted, through messengers, to her father Hengist by 



his daughter, whom Vortigern had previously unlawfully mar- 
ried ; and Hengist bethought himself of betraying the British 
nation under a show of peace. So he sent ambassadors to the 
king, saying that it was not to offer any violence to him or his 
kingdom that he had brought so great a multitude with him ; 
but that he might put himself and his people at his disposal, 
so that the king might retain in the country those he wanted, 
while the rest would sail back to Germany. When, therefore, 
this was announced to the king, and it was likewise proposed 
that a day and place should be fixed upon beforehand for 
adjusting these matters by common consent, the king com- 
manded his subjects and the Saxons to meet on the first of 
May, at the village of Ambrium (Ambresburgh), to adjust these 
matters accordingly. Meanwhile Hengist instructed his com- 
rades to have every one a long knife in his boot ; and while the 
Britons were holding converse with them in all security, each one 
was to be ready, at a given signal " Nemet zoure Sexes," to draw 
his knife and stab the Briton next to him. And it came to pass 
thus : Hengist held back Vortigern by the cloak, while the rest 
stabbed the Britons present, who little suspected such a thing, 
to the number of about four hundred and sixty persons, barons 
and consuls. Then, soon, the Saxons wasted and overran all 
the country, and suddenly attacked the inhabitants, as wolves 
pounce upon sheep when abandoned by their shepherd ; pulling 
down the churches, and everything belonging to them, to the 
very ground ; murdering the priests beside the altars ; and 
burning up the sacred Scriptures with fire. Men of religious 
orders and married men leaving behind them their substance, 
their wives and children, and, what is more their freedom, 
betook themselves to foreign lands beyond the sea. Some, 
likewise, of the miserable remainder, who managed to escape 
from this slaughter, betook themselves to caves and wooded 
spots, some to the north, others to the south— that is, to Scotia, 
Wales, and Cornwall. Others, again, spent with hunger, came 
forth and submitted to the enemy, to get some relief in food ; 
though destined to undergo perpetual slavery, even if they 
were not murdered on the spot. 


Accession of King Constantius, and the division of Britannia, in 
course of time, among the Saxons, into eight Kingdoms. 

In a.d. 457, Dongardus was succeeded by his brother Con- 
stantius, who reigned twenty-two years. On Vortigern, king 


94 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

of the Britons, being struck by lightning, or, as Geoffroy main-j 
tains, burnt to death in his own tower by Aurelius Ambrosius, 
this Aurelius was raised to the throne, by the Britons. For, as 
William tells us, after King Vortimer's death, the British 
strength dwindled away ; and they would then have altogether 
perished, had not Ambrosius, the sole survivor of the Eomans, 
been monarch of the kingdom after Vortigern. But the Britons, 
says Bede, had at that time, for their leader, Aurelius Ambro- 
sius, a man of great moderation, who alone, probably, of the 
Eoraan nation, had survived the storm described above, in 
which his parents, who bore a royal and distinguished name, 
had been slaughtered. Under his guidance, the Britons began 
to gain strength ; and, from that time, now the inhabitants, now 
the enemy, prevailed ; until the year of the siege of Mount 
Badamor, when they made no small slaughter of those enemies of 
theirs, about the year 44 after their arrival in Britannia. When, 
therefore, Britannia was brought under the yoke of the Saxons, 
eight kings of the Saxons began to reign over the country, 
which they shared among them. These sought, above all, to 
root out Christ and the worship of Christians ; extending their 
kingdoms, and assigning each, according to his ability, boun- 
daries to their realms, whereof the following are the names. 
The first kingdom was certainly Kent ; the first kings whereof 
were Hors and Hengist. 

The second, Sussex ; whereof the first king, Ellen, began to 
reign in a.d. 477, while Aurelius ruled over the Britons. 

The third, Wessex, took its rise, in the time of XJther, from 
King Cerdic. 

The fourth, Essex, took its rise, in the time of King Arthur, 
from Erkenwyn. 

The fifth, Anglia ; the first king whereof was Ulfa. 

The sixth, the kingdom of the Mercians, began with King 

The seventh, the kingdom of Deira, began with Alle. 

The eighth is the kingdom of Bernicia, which took its rise 
from Adda. These last two kingdoms grew out of the disrup- 
tion of the kingdom of Northumbria, which was afterwards 
restored as one kingdom. Let the reader, for the present, be 
satisfied with thus much concerning the first arrival of the 



Alliance of Aurelius Amhrosius, King of the Britons, with King 
Constantius, against the Saxons — Merlin the Seer. 

AuKELius Ambrosius, then, the king of the Britons, sent 
greeting to King Constantius, and earnestly besought him, by 
means of messengers, to take up arms without delay against 
the heathen Saxons, the restless foes of the true God and 
the Christian religion, and do his part in coming to the assist- 
ance of his allies the Britons, in consideration of the former 
alliance between them. The king, accordingly, acknowledged 
the treaty lately concluded with Vortimer, and moreover re- 
newed and ratified it, with the greatest solemnities, to last in 
perpetuity — if, at least, Aurelius would do the same. So, as all 
things had sped prosperously according to their wishes, the 
messengers returned home again, together with some ambas- 
sadors of the king's. At the same time, Aurelius also sent 
messengers, charged with the same business, to Drostanus, king 
of the Picts, who, however, was already bespoken by the mes- 
sengers of Hengist, to whom he had promised a friendly alliance 
against the Britons, and a safe repair in case of need ; nor did 
he care any longer to offer Aurelius even the assurance of 
peace. Accordingly, when Hengist had established his king- 
dom within the borders of Kent, trusting to the promise of the 
Picts, he sent forth his brother Octa, and his son Eubusa, men 
of tried prowess and boldness, to seize the northern parts of 
Britannia ; and to withstand the Scots, and check their attacks. 
On the arrival of these soldiers, therefore, they were received by 
the Picts with looks of gladness; and, being strengthened in num- 
bers by them, they made war for a time against both the Scots 
and Britons. The Britons thenceforth combined with the Scots, 
and they always fought together against the Picts and Saxons. 
Now, in the days of Aurelius and his predecessor Vortigern, a 
certain seer from Cambria, named Merlin, chanted many so- 
called prophecies, dark to the understanding, the meaning 
of which could never or seldom be discerned by any one until 
they were fulfilled ; but which, on being fulfilled, or after they 
had come to pass, many very often believed they recognised. 
These predictions of his, which will be found in the Sixth Book 
of Geoffrey's Chronicle, towards the end, have suggested the 
following : — 

" Weak Vortigern sits pranked with royal show ; 
Great Merlin stands and bodes the coming woe." 


The prophecy begins thus : — As Vortigern was sitting upon the 
bank of a drained pool, etc. He openly declares, however, 
amonc: other thinf^s, that the Britons were to be driven out of 
the country by the Saxons ; and that the Saxons were first to 
be overcome by the Danes, and then overthrown by the Neus- 
trians, that is, the Normans, — which things, indeed, are, in our 
own days, known to have been truly fulfilled in all respects. 
He likewise foretold that the Britons, accompanied by the 
Armorican and Albanian nations, would wrest back their king- 
dom of long ago, from the Normans, who now reign in Anglia, 
and would thenceforth hold sway therein. After all, the fulfil- 
ment of divination of this kind, which has not yet, it is be- 
lieved, come to pass, or which has still to come to pass, is it 
not surely under the control of Him to whom the past and the 
future are alike continually present ? 


Accession of King Congal — Renewal of the Treaty between the 
Scots and Britons — Internal strife of the Britons, whereby 
they lose the Kingdom, and the Saxons everyiohere 'prevail. 

But after the death of Constantius, who lay for a long time 
lingering in sickness, Congal, his nephew through his brother 
Dongardus, assumed the kingdom in A.D. 479, the sixth year 
of the emperor Zeno, who had succeeded Leo, and taken his 
daughter to wife. This king also reigned twenty-two years, 
like his uncle who had preceded him. With Congal also, as 
soon as he was crowned king, was the friendly alliance renewed 
and ratified through the messengers of King Aurelius. For the 
Saxon wars against the Britons began to grow more serious, as 
fresh swarms kept unflaggingly coming upon them on all sides, 
in such great numbers, that the latter, do what they could, were 
unequal to the task of driving them out of the country — nay, 
from day to day they increased more and more in numbers and 
wickedness, and waxed strong. Out of all the lands of the 
heathen, but mostly from Germany, armed vessels flocked to- 
gether, as crows to the carrion ; whereby their numbers were largely 
increased, while those of the Britons were daily lessened. The 
strength also of the latter was so much taken up with continual 
and calamitous intestine quarrels, and so much split up into 
several parties, that had not the prudence and firmness of 
Aurelius come to their rescue, they would then doubtless have 
lost the kingdom. But during the whole of his lifetime the 



Britons maintained friendship with the Scottish tribes, and 
these with the Britons in return. For, thenceforth, no subtlety 
of their adversaries could part them, never after could the 
fierceness of aliens break up their peaceful covenant, nor the 
foreign quarrels or wrongs of their respective nations thence- 
forward sever their friendship — nay, rather, the speedy renewal 
of the treaty between them welded them in closer unity of love. 
Thus the Saxons and Picts on the one side, and Scots and 
Britons on the other, fought against one another continually ; 
until the Scots had got the upper hand, and laid the Picts even 
in the dust; and the Saxons had wrested Britain from the 
Britons, through the apathy of that people. Wherefore William 
tells us : — At length the Britons combined with the Scots, and 
fought many a battle against the Saxons and Picts. Mean- 
while, says Bede, the Saxons and Picts, whom one and the same 
necessity drew together into the field, took up arms with their 
united forces against the Britons and Scots. 


Clovis, the first King of the Franks who was baptized — Origin 
of the Franks. 


Same continued — Period wlien they first had a King — Succession 
of their Kings down to this Clovis — Saint Gyherianus Scotus. 


Accession of Gonranus — Renewal of the Treaty with Uther — 
Saint Brigida, 

Moreover, we read that, in the time of Congal, there was no 
open war, though the Saxons and Picts made various inroads 
and attacks upon the country. At his decease, however, in A.D. 
501 — the ninth year of the emperor Anastasius — he was suc- 
ceeded by his brother Gonranus, a man of advanced age, also a son 
of Dongardus. Gonranus reigned thirty-four years. At the out- 
set of his reign, war broke out between him and the Britons. For 
vol. II. Q 

93 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

as soon as that noble chief of the Britons, Aurelius, was taken away 
from their midst, having been treacherously poisoned by the 
Saxons, the Britons were altogether at a loss any longer to main- 
tain peace with their friends and allies, or concord among them- 
selves. And that excellent historian of the Britons, Gildas, has 
spoken his praises above all their other kings— nay, he has left to 
posterity his deeds faithfully recorded in well-chosen language. 
For he was mighty on foot, and mightier still on horseback ; 
bountiful and bold ; diligent in the service of God ; moderate in 
all things ; and well versed in commanding armies. At length, 
upon his death, he was succeeded by his brother Uther, a man 
excessively given to stirring up civil war among his subjects. 
For, at the instigation of certain persons, he endeavoured to wrest 
from the Scots the district of Westmeria (Westmoreland) and 
other adjoining districts, the peaceful possession of which they 
had so many years enjoyed. But being assailed on all sides by the 
inroads of his heathen enemies, he consented to renew the old 
treaty with the king ; and, by the intervention of ambassadors 
from both parties, they were again restored to harmony. In the 
eighth year of King Gonranus, the aforesaid pagans — Cerdix and 
Kenrik — in one day slew 5000 Britons, with their king Nathan- 
leod. In his fourteenth year, also. Stuff and Wythgar, heathen 
Saxons, sailed over to Britain with a few ships, and giving 
battle to the Britons at Cerdixore, were all routed. In his 
eighteenth year died Saint Brigida, a holy maid, beloved of God, 
and was buried at Dunum (Down). In the same year, Cerdix 
and Kenrik fought against the Britons at Cerdixforde, and 
were victorious ; and thus they obtained the supreme power in 


Gildas the Historian — Some Metrical Prophecies of his. 

About this time died Gildas, a sound and elegant historian, 
and was buried at an old church in the Isle of Avallon. The 
Britons owe it to him, as divers histories bear witness, that they 
were of any renown among the other nations. Some maintain 
that he was Arthur's chaplain ; others that he was not, but that 
he flourished in the beginning of his days, and earlier. Delight- 
ing in the holiness of the place, which he loved not a little, he 
tarried long in this same Isle of Avallon, and, leading there a 
solitary life pleasing to God, he attained to so much grace, that 


he was found worthy to be invested with the power of working 
miracles, and, oftentimes, with the spirit of prophecy. Indeed, 
he uttered many prophecies, some in prose and some in verse, 
which turned out true. A few of these predictions of his in 
verse, which, according to the expounders of our day, are not 
believed to have as yet come to pass, we have thought fit to 
insert below, in the present chapter. First, we give the following 
passage, on the continuance of the treaty concluded between the 
Scots and the Britons — first broached by Carausius, then faith- 
fully observed by Conan, renewed by Aurelius Ambrosius, and 
continued, likewise, until now by many chiefs, though not 
by all. Gildas says, — 

" The sons of Brutus, banded with the Scot^ 
Fair Anglia's beauty shall with slaughter blot. 
Her streams shall flow red-stained with hostile gore ; 
Her faithless sons shall fall to rise no more. 
The thirsty ground shall drink the Saxon's life, 
Shed by the Briton's, and the Albanian's, knife. 
The friendly Scots shall see the Britons reign. 
The land shall bear its ancient name again. 
An eagle from a ruined tower foretold : — 
These nations shall the ancestral kingdom hold ; 
Their foes cast out, they shall with blissful sway, 
Together reign until the Judgment Day." 


These Prophecies continued — Saint Brandan — Saint Machutes. 

Amongst other things, Gildas also sang the following, con 
cerning certain misfortunes which should befall the Scots : — 

" Scotia shall weep a noble chieftain's fate, 
Who o'er the sea-girt land shall hold his state. 
While twice three years, and moons thrice three, roll by, 
Under no prince the widow'd land shall lie. 
Scotia shall mourn her famous kings of old — 
Her kings so just, rich, bountiful, and bold. 
For an unkingly king — so Merlin sings — 
Shall wield the sceptre of victorious kings. 
Then shall Albania wail for ruin nigh. 
Her people, self-betray 'd, shall slaughter'd lie. 


Alas ! Albania, conquered by her guile, 
A king of Anglic birth shall serve a while. 
But after, when a miser king is dead, 
She shall revive — so the ancient Sibyl said. 
White Alban's treachery shall bruise the land ; 
His countrymen shall perish by his hand. 
The northern king, wdth his wild sailor horde. 
Shall scourge the Scots with famine, fire, and sword. 
The stranger nation, by their friends betray'd, 
At length, shall grovelling in the dust be laid ; 
Their Noric chief, on the lost battle-field, 
Shall to the avenging sword his life-blood yield. 
The realm shall be enrich'd by one from Gaul, 
Who by his brother's sword, alas ! shall fall. 
Pale woe shall then give way to thriving weal. 
And o'er the land a peaceful calm shall steal. 

Gildas, unveiler of the olden time, 

These mighty things enshrines in lowly rhyme." 

Justin, the elder, a most Christian emperor, succeeded the 
faithless Anastasius in A.D. 518, and governed ten years, dying 
in the twenty-eighth year of King Gonranus. In that same 
year — namely, a.d. 528 — he was succeeded by Justinian, his 
nephew through his sister, who reigned thirty-eight years. 
This emperor made a digest of the books of the Eoman laws, 
in one volume, called the Justinianum. In the thirtieth year 
of King Gonranus, Cerdix, and Kenrick, his son, took the Isle 
of Wight, and gave it to Stuf and Wychtgare, the nephews of 
Cerdix. At this time, also, Dionysius composed, in the city of 
Kome, the Paschal cycles of nineteen years, beginning from a.d. 
532. Saint Brendan flourished in Scotland at that time — a 
man of great abstemiousness, and conspicuous for his virtues. 
He was the father of nearly 3000 monks. Moreover, he went a 
seven years' voyage in quest of the Fortunate Isles, and saw 
many tilings worthy of wonder. Saint Machutes, also called 
Macloveus, who was baptized and regularly educated by him, 
and accompanied him on his voyage, lived in Britain, renowned 
for his miracles and holiness. 



Death of King Gonranus — Arthur ascends the British TJirone, 

GoNRANUS, after he had completed his thirty-fourth year on 
the throne, was ensnared in an ambuscade at Innerlochy, by 
his brother's son, Eugenius or Eochodius Hebdre, and put to 
death. His body was taken to the church of Saint Oran, at 
Hy (lona), to be buried, where repose the remains of his father 
and grandfather. After his death, however, his wife, the queen, 
fled secretly to Ireland, with her sons Eogenanus and Aydanus, 
and remained there while Eugenius and his brother reigned, 
even up to her death ; though her sons, when they had attained 
unto the full age of puberty, and unto strength to fit them for 
military service, on the king's spirit being softened by the 
prayers of mediating friends, returned to their native land, and 
thenceforth abode in peace. Of these we shall speak at greater 
length in their proper place. Now, on the death of Uther, king 
of the Britons, by poison, through the perfidy of the Saxons 
(like his brother Aurelius of happy memory), his son Arthur, by 
the contrivance of certain men, succeeded to the kingdom ; 
which, nevertheless, was not lawfully his due, but rather his 
sister Anna's, or her children's. For she was begotten in lawful 
wedlock, and married to Loth, a Scottish consul, and lord of Lau- 
donia (Lothian), who came of the family of the leader Eulgentius ; 
and of her he begat two sons — the noble Galwanus and Modred 
— whom, on the other hand, some relate, though without founda- 
tion, to have had another origin. It is certain, at all events, 
that Arthur reigned in the days of the reign of Gonranus, and 
for seven years after his death ; for Arthur died A.D. 542, as is 
shown in sundry writings ; but I have not come upon the year 
when he took upon him the kingly dignity. But why Arthur 
was adopted as king, and the lawful heirs were passed over, may 
be seen from Geoffroy ; for, as he says, on the death of Uther 
Pendragon, the nobility from the several provinces were gathered 
together in the city of Silchester, and suggested to Dubricius, 
Archbishop of Caerleon, that he should consecrate Uther's son, 
Arthur, to be their king. For they were pressed by necessity, 
because the Saxons, on hearing of the aforesaid king's death, 
had invited over their countrymen from Germany, and, under 
the command of Colgerin, were endeavouring to exterminate 
the Britons. 




DuBRicius, therefore, grieving for the calamities of his country, 
did, with some of the bishops, invest Arthur with the diadem of 
the kingship. Arthur was then a youth of fifteen years, of 
singular courage and bounteousness, to whom his innate good- 
ness lent such a charm that he was beloved by almost all men. 
When he had thus been consecrated with the insignia of 
royalty, he, observing his wonted custom, gave way to his 
liberality; and so large a number of knights flocked to him, that 
even what he distributed among them ran short. But the man 
in whom bounteousness and valour are inborn, though he may 
be in want for a time, yet poverty shall not harm him for ever. 
Thus speaks Geoffroy. But let us return to the subject — where 
it is said that they were impelled by necessity — which has no 
law, both with gods and men ; for necessity makes that lawful 
which otherwise were not lawful. But much depends on what 
and what manner of necessity that was. We can, however, 
gather quite well, from the progress of Geoffroy s narrative, that 
at that time Gualwanus, who is also called Waulwanus, and his 
brother Modred were boys under the age of puberty. For we 
start with the understanding that Arthur, as we have men- 
tioned above, was fifteeh years of age when he was adopted as 
king; then sundry hostile outbreaks were, in the meantime, 
brought about by him against the Saxons ; and Geoffroy, after 
declaring the battles which were so fought from the time 
of his accession to the throne, goes on to speak thus : — ^After 
these events, when, etc. — and a little further on: — Walwa- 
nus, the son of the aforesaid Loyth, was then a youth of 
twelve years, and was handed over to the service of Pope Sul- 
picius by his uncle, from whom he received arms. Such are 
his words. And, therefore, on so strong a necessity suddenly 
arising, they were justified in electing a youth verging on man- 
hood, rather than a child in the cradle ; and it was haply, 
for this reason, that Modred stirred up against Arthur that war 
wherehi both met their fate. Geoffroy, however, writes that 
Modred and Galwanus were the sons of Anna, sister of Aurelius, 
Arthur's uncle. He says : Loth, who, in the time of Aurelius 
Ambrosius, had married his sister, of whom he begat Galwanus 
and Modred. But, further on, he calls Arthur the uncle of 
Galwanus, saying: Walwanus, the son of the aforesaid Loth, was 
then a youth of twelve years, and was handed over to the service 


of Pope Sulpicius by his uncle, from whom he received arms. 
Such are Geoffrey's words. But it is clearly certain that neither 
Aurelius nor Uther survived up to that time ; therefore, we may 
gather that Arthur was this uncle of his. That is Geoffroy's 
account. I, however, refer this point to the sagacity of the 
reader to deal with ; for I do not see my way easily to bring 
these passages into harmony with each other. But I believe it 
to be nearer the truth that Modred, as I have read elsewhere, 
was Arthur's sister's son ; and that is the drift of this chapter. 


Accession of the three Kings, Eugenius, Convallus, and Kynatel 
or Connyd — Arrival of Saint Columha. 

'' EuGENius, or Eochodius Hebdre, as soon as his uncle Gon- 
ranus was slain, assumed the kingship in A.D. 535, and reigned 
twenty-three years. In the eighth year of his reign, the fifteenth 
of the Emperor Justinian, was fought in Britain a battle be- 
tween the British king, Arthur, and his nephew Modred, wherein 
both of them fell wounded to the death, with a great multitude 
of Britons as well as Scots. But Eugenius passed the whole time 
of his administration in ceaseless struggles with the Saxons and 
Picts, while fortune yielded the victory sometimes to him, 
sometimes to them ; and, doing his best to keep the peace with 
the Britons, and the bond of their pristine alliance, he often- 
times, himself present in person, tendered them his help against 
the heathens. At his death in A.D. 558, the thirty-first year of 
the emperor Justinian, he was succeeded by his brother Con- 
vallus, who reigned ten years. In the eighth year of his reign 
over the Scots, and the ninth of that of Brude, the son of 
Mealochon, over the Picts, there came out of Ireland, into Scot- 
land, the holy priest and abbot Columba — a man of a life to be 
no less admired than venerated, the founder of monasteries, and 
the father and instructor of many monks. He shared his name 
with the prophet Jonah : for Jonah in the Hebrew tongue is 
Columha in the Latin, and Peristera in the Greek. The names 
of twelve men who sailed over to Scotland with Columba, from 
Ireland, are these : — 

The two sons of Brendinus, Baythenu?, also called Coninus, 
Saint Columba's successor, and Cobthacus, his brother. 

Aernanius, the uncle of Saint Columba. 

Dormicius, his minister. 


The two sons of Rodain, Ens and Fechno. 

Scandalaus, son of Bresail, son of Endeus. 



Mocifirus Cetea. 

Cayrnaanus, also a son of Brandinus, son of Melgy. 


On a certain day, at the very hour when there was being fought 
in Ireland a battle, which is called Ondemone in Scottish, this 
man of God, having audience of the said king Convallus, son 
of Congal, in Scotland, gave a minute account both of the 
battle which was being fought, and of the kings to whom God 
vouchsafed the victory over their enemies. In the second year 
after Saint Columba's arrival, however, King Convallus died, 
and was at once, that same year, succeeded in the kingdom by 
his brother Kynatel or Connyd, who died a year and three 
months after. 


An Angel "brings Saint Cohtmha down the Glass Booh of the 
Consecration of Kings — Accession of King Aydanus. 

At this time, says Adamnan, while Saint Columba tarried in 
a certain island named Hymba, in ecstasy of mind, one night he 
saw the Angel of God bearing in his hand the Glass Book of 
the ordination of kings, which he held out for Saint Columba to 
read. As, however, he refused, on the third night, to ordain 
Aydanus, son of Gonranus, king, as he was in the book bidden 
to do, seeing that he loved his brother Jogenanus better, on a 
sudden the Angel stretched forth his hand, and struck the holy 
man with a scourge ; and a livid mark remained on his side, all 
the days of his life. He likewise addressed these words to him, 
saying, — " Know thou for certain that I am sent to thee from 
God with this book, in order that thou shouldest ordain Aydanus 
king, according to what thou hast read therein ; but, if thou 
shouldest be unwilling to further this behest, I shall strike thee 
a second time." So when the Angel of the Lord, with the same 
Glass Book in his hand, had appeared three consecutive nights 
to Saint Columba, and enjoined the divine behest with respect 
to the ordination of the said king, that saint sailed over to the 
island of lona ; and on the arrival of Aydanus there, in those 
days, as he was bidden, Saint Columba laid liis hand upon his 
head, and blessed him, and ordained him king ; prophesying. 


among the words of the ordination ceremony, what should befall 
his sons, grandsons, and great grandsons. Aydanus, therefore, 
having been thus ordained king, to the joy of his nation, 
through the warning of an angel, ruled the kingdom in great 
prosperity. He began to reign in A.D. 570 — the fifth year of 
Justin the younger, who succeeded Justinian on the imperial 
throne in A.D. 566, and governed twelve years; and the king 
reigned thirty-five years. He devoted himself beyond measure 
to warlike enterprises, even against the warnings of the blessed 
Columba; so that he not only utterly vanquished all the nations 
round about ; to wit, the Noricans, Picts, and Saxons, as often 
as they burst into his kingdom, but also overcame these Picts 
on their own ground. It is written, however, that his army 
was twice defeated : on one occasion, under Brendinus, the 
chief of his host ; and on the other, under himself. The manner 
of one of these discomfitures — the former — follows in the next 
chapter. It came to pass thus : — 


Aydanus sends assistance to Malgo, King of the Britons — Victory 
of tlie Heathens — Parentage of Saint FurseuSj Saint Foylanus, 
and Saint Vultanus. 

It came to pass that Malgo, king of the Britons, hearing the 
prowess of Aydanus extolled, sent messengers to him beseeching 
him not to be unmindful of their late covenant and friendship, 
nor refuse to help him against a heathenish and wicked nation. 
He, on his side, readily inclining his ear to so just a request, and 
giving effect to it, sent off his son Griffinus, a distinguished 
soldier, and Brendinus, prince of Eubonia, his nephew by his 
sister, with a mighty host, in the fifteenth year of his reign. 
Nor would he, in this case, have intrusted to those men the 
care of so great a matter, notwithstanding that they had many 
a time before been wont to discharge the duty of leader of 
armies wisely ; for he took steps to direct this expedition him- 
self, and would have done so, had not the nobles, with sounder 
judgment, most earnestly recalled him back from his purpose. As 
soon, therefore, as these set out with their army, they were joined 
by the northern Britons ; and with forces thus combined, they 
hastened in all security, as if afraid of nothing, to meet Malgo. 
But lo ! suddenly, on the third day after they had crossed the 
stony moor, they fell, though not unawares, right among the 


squadrons of the heathens, led by Cenlinus, king of the West 
Saxons, at a place called Fethanlege ; and, after a severe 
struggle there, for the space of a full day, Cutha, the son of 
Cenlinus, was slain, with the whole of the first line, which he 
commanded. The remaining ranks of the heathen host did not, 
aught afraid on that account, retreat from the field. Nay, they 
exerted themselves to press on more bravely until, with cruel 
slaughter, they fearfully routed both our men and the Britons, 
who seemed at first to be winning the battle. In these days, 
says Vincentiics, the prince Brendinus had a brother in Scotia, 
named Adelfius ; of whose daughter, called Gelgehes, Philtanus, 
king of Ireland, begat Saint Furseus, and his brothers, Foylanus 
and Ultanus, exceeding great saints before God. In the ninth 
year of King Aydanus died Justin, and was, in a.d. 578, suc- 
ceeded in the empire by Tiberius, who was six years emperor. 
On the death of Tiberius, he was succeeded, in a.d. 584, by his 
daughter's husband, Mauricius, who reigned twenty-one years. 


This King Aydanios sets out to the assistance of Cadwallo, King 
of the Britons, against the Saxons — Issue of the Battle — Saint 
Columba's Prophecy about this battle — Saint Kentigern and 
Saint Convallus. 

King Aydanus, in the twenty-third year of his reign, on being 
asked by the Britons and their King Cadwallo for assistance 
against the aforesaid King Cenlinus, advanced with his army 
as far as Chester, where he was joined by the Britons, massed in 
line by squadrons, and prepared to give battle to Cenlinus. Tlie 
latter, hearing this, prepared for action, and marched to meet them; 
and a severe battle was fought at Wodenysborch, where, on the 
side of Cenlinus, the leaders Cealinus, Quichelm, and Cryda, and 
great numbers of the soldiery of his army, perished utterly ; 
while he himself was wounded and fled, and was thereupon 
deprived of his kingdom. At the very time of the battle, the 
holy man Columba, tarrying in the island of lona, as he relates 
in his works, suddenly called his minister, and said to him, 
" Ring the bell." By the sound thereof the brethren were 
hurried to church, and came running quickly, the saint himself 
going on before and leading them. And, when they had knelt 
down in the church, he said unto them, " Now, let us earnestly 
pmy for King Aydanus, and this people ; for, this very hour, they 


are going into battle." After a short interval, he walked out of 
the church, and looking up to heaven, he said, " Now the bar- 
barians are being put to flight ; and to Aydanus, unhappy 
though he otherwise be, yet doth God grant the victory." The 
holy man, also, prophetically and truly, told them of the num- 
ber of three hundred and three men who were slain of the army 
of Aydanus. I^ow, contemporaneously with Saint Columba, 
there flourished the most blessed Keutigern, bishop of Glasgow, 
a man of wondrous sanctity, and a worker of many miracles ; 
whose revered bones there rest entombed, illustrious for many 
miracles to the praise of God. The utmost boundary of his 
bishopric southwards was, at that time, as it ought by rights to 
be now, at the royal cross below Stanemor. And one of his 
chief disciples was Saint Convallus, renowned for miracles and 
virtues, whose bones likewise rest buried at Inchenane, near 


This Aydanus is driven from the field hy Ethelfrid, King of 
the Northumbrians — Augustine preaches the Faith to the 

At another time, also — that is, in the thirty-third year of his 
reign — the army of King Aydanus was vanquished while he was 
himself present. For in the eleventh year after he had dis- 
comfited Cenlinus, king of the Saxons, it was at length agreed 
upon between Aydanus and the Britons to make a twofold 
attack upon the Northumbrian people, ruled at that time by 
Ethelfrid, a powerful and wise king, who committed constant 
outrages upon the Britons and Scots. Aydanus was to come in 
from the north, and the Britons from the south, until they met 
at a point agreed upon by a solemn pledge. The king, accord- 
ingly, when the stated time arrived, hoping that the Britons 
would, on their side, do as they had stipulated, marched into 
the territory of Northumbria, although he was of advanced age; 
and while his army was daily engaged in burning and despoil- 
ing, one day King Ethelfrid, with a dense body of troops, came 
upon the Scots (who were dispersed through the towns and 
fields, plundering in this way), and overcame them, not without 
great slaughter of his own men. Aydanus, king of the Scots, 
says Bede, being concerned at the advance of Ethelfrid, came 
against him with an immense and brave army ; but nearly the 
whole of his army was slain, at a place called Degsastan. In 


this fight Theobald, brother to Ethelfrid, was killed, with 
the whole force he commanded ; but Aydanus was, never- 
theless, vanquished, and escaped with a few followers. In the 
fifth year before this battle, the Pope Saint Gregory sent Saint 
Augustine with his comrades into the country of the Angles, to 
be their first teacher and preach the faith to them ; and the 
latter, accordingly, that same year, converted Athelbert, king 
of Kent, to the faith. Now, in the time of Aydanus, the Franks 
and Spaniards disagreed as to the celebration of Easter ; for the 
Franks kept Easter on the 1 8th of April ; and the Spaniards 
on the 21st of March. In his time, also, Saint Gregory was 
ordained bishop of Tours, and was renowned amongst all men. 
It was he who wrote the history of the Franks. But, to resume — 
after the said battle King Ethelfrid wofully wasted the nation 
of the Britons ; and, after having exterminated the natives, he 
made most of their lands tributary, or settled the nation of the 
Angles thereon. 


Saint Columha's prophecy about the sons of Aydanus — His Death 
— Saint Drostan and his Parentage. 

Once upon a time, says Adamnan, when Saint Columba was 
asking King Aydanus about the successor to the kingdom, the 
latter answered that he knew not which of his sons would j 
reign — whether Arturius, or Eochodius Find, or Dongartus. 
"Whereupon the saint prophesied as follows : — " None of these 
three shall reign, for they shall fall in battle, and be slain by 
their enemies. But if thou hast any others younger, let them 
now come to me ; and that one of them whom the Lord hath 
chosen to be king shall at once spring into my bosom." When 
they were summoned, Eochodius Buyd came up to the saint, as 
he had prophesied, and nestled in his bosom. So the saint 
kissed him and blessed him, and said unto his father, — " This 
is the one that shall survive, and reign as king immediately 
after thee ; and after him, also, shall his sons reign." Moreover, 
all was, in due time, fulfilled as he said. For Arturius and 
Eochodius Find were slain, not long afterwards, in the battle of 
the Maythi, and Dongartus was cut off in battle with the 
Saxons, like his elder brother Griffinus long before; but 
Eochodius Buyd, which in our tongue would be Eugenius, 
succeeded his father in the kingdom the year after. Conan- 
rodus also, the son of the king of Demetia (South Wales), took 


to wife Fynewennis, daughter of this Griffinus, son of King 
Aydanus, son of Gonranus ; and of her he begat a son greatly 
beloved by God, Saint Drostan, who donned the monk's 
habit, and offered himself an acceptable sacrifice unto God. 
Saint Columba died in a.d. 600, after he had passed in Scotland 
fully thirty -four years of his excellent life, as appears from the 
holy man's words. " This present day," said he to the brethren, 
" thirty years of my pilgrimage in Scotia are completed. 
But though the Lord granted to me, on my begging for it with 
my whole might, that I should pass away to Him from the world 
on this day, yet hearing rather the prayers of many churches 
for me. He quickly changed His word ; and it was yielded by 
the Lord to their prayers, although against my will, that four 
years from this day should be added to me to abide in the 
flesh." But King Aydanus, ever sorrowing after the battle of 
Degsastan, was so much worn with grief that he died at Kin- 
tyre, in the second year after his defeat, so old that he almost 
reached the term of eighty years, and he was buried at Kil- 
cheran, where none of his predecessors had been buried before. 
Thereupon Kenethus Kere, son of Conal, immediately took upon 
him the royal crown ; and went to his account a year, or, as is 
elsewhere stated, three months after. 


Accession of Eugenius, son of Aydanus — Saint Gillenius and 
Saint Columbamos. 

King Aydan was succeeded in the sovereignty of the king- 
dom by his son, Eugenius Buyd, or Eochodius, according to 
some — Ay do according to others — in a.d. 606 ; who reigned 
sixteen years. The year before, that is, in a.d. 605, Mauricius 
was murdered, together with his wife and sons, by one of his 
soldiers, Phocas, who usurped the imperial throne, and held it 
eight years. Bonifacius, who was the sixty-fifth pope of the 
Komish Church, and succeeded Sabinianus, obtained at the 
hands of this Phocas that the Eomish Church should be the 
head of all the churches ; whereas, at that time, the Church of 
Constantinople styled herself the first of all the churches. Now 
Eugenius was from the very first, after he had leant his head 
in the bosom of Saint Columba, his beloved foster-son, most 
tenderly trained, and, for a long time afterwards, his disciple, 
most carefully instructed in letters. As soon as he became 
king, however, amidst the manifold cares of state, the saint's 


teaching was consigned to oblivion ; for, rarely applying his 
thoughts to peace, but continually to war, he harassed by his 
inroads the country of the Saxons, and sometimes that of the 
Picts. He was harsh in his government, and exceedingly 
pitiless and fierce towards all those who offended the majesty 
of his power ; thinking, in his pride, to overcome the high- 
minded or wanton rather by cruelty than by courtesy. Towards 
his conquered enemies, and loyal subjects, however, he was 
beyond measure merciful and mild, and readily extended his 
favour and kindness to those who asked forgiveness for their 
offences ; so that in this he might be said truly to take after 
the noble-natured lion, whose device he bore on his arms ; for — 

" The lion's rage will spare the grovelling prey." 

In the eighth year of Eugenius, the emperor Phocas, in the 
midst of his furious raging against his followers, was put to 
death by order of Heraclius, patrician of Africa, who, after his 
death, seized the commonwealth, which he found dismembered 
and wasted. He began to reign in a.d. 613, and reigned thirty 
years. At that time Saint Gillenus, a Scot, by his sound 
teaching, gained over to Christ, and drew to him by his signal 
miracles, the province of the Atrebatii. One day, when this 
saint was taking some refreshment with Saint Pharaoh, the 
glass cup for drinking wine fell out of the cupbearer's hand by 
chance, and was broken. Whereupon the blessed Gillenus, 
seeing the servant's face turn pale, privily beckoned to him to 
give him the broken piece of the cup ; and when he had said 
a prayer over it, the glass was at once restored whole. In the 
days of Eugenius, Saint Columbanus, a Scot, was distinguished 
for his many virtues, and built the convents of Luxeu and 
Bobio in Gaul. He was afterwards driven out of France by 
King Theodoric, at the instigation of his grandmother Brune- 
child; and, leaving his disciple Gallus in Germany, he sub- 
sequently built a convent in Italy. 


Cadwallo, King of the Britons^ takes to flighty and comes to Scot- 
land fm" assistance — Arrival of Saint Oswald, and his 
Brothers baptized there — Burial of the RigM Hand and 
Sword of King Etigenius in the stony moor. 

In the tenth year of Eugenius, Crugillus and Quichelmus, 
kings of the West Saxons, fought a battle at Beautonum against 


Cadwallo, king of the Britons, and forced him to take to flight, 
with the loss of two thousand and forty-six killed. Cadwallo 
afterwards came secretly to Scotland with a few followers, to 
get help from the king ; whereof he obtained a w^elcome pro- 
mise. From Scotland, he repaired to Ireland ; and thence he 
went off to Armorican Britain, where he speedily obtained a 
good-sized band of warriors from the king, whose name was 
Salamon ; and on his return home, he harried the Saxons with 
numberless calamitous massacres. In the eleventh year of 
Eugenius, Eedwald, king of the East Angles, slew Ethelfrid, 
king of Northumbria, in battle; whose successor, Edwin, 
banished from his father's kingdom the seven sons of Ethelfrid, 
to wit, Andefrid, Oswald, Oslaf, Oswiu, Offa, Oswud, and 
Oslac, and one daughter, Ebba. AH these, accordingly, having, 
with many nobles, escaped by flight, through the exertions 
of friends, arrived in Scotland, driven by sore need ; and 
though their father had overcome his own in battle, yet the 
king kindly harboured these heathens in his kingdom for a 
long time after, in such honour as was meet. Moreover, a few 
years afterwards, they were drawn to the Christian faith by his 
exhortations, and by the teaching and preaching of the holy 
fathers, whose zeal and glorious lives at that time shed their 
lustre over Scotland ; and they were born again, through the 
water of sacred baptism, in the name of the Holy Trinity. In 
the twelfth year of this king's reign, the fifth of the emperor 
Heraclius, Palestine was overthrown in battle by the Persians ; 
and the holy city of Jerusalem, after 90,000 Christians had 
been slain therein, was taken, and Our Lord's Holy Cross itself 
carried off. Consequently, five years after this, on Easter 
Monday the 4th of April, the emperor, being stirred up, set 
out against King Cosdroes ; and, having quickly put him to 
death, he brought the Holy Cross back to Jerusalem, break- 
ing out into praises thereof, and singing this antiphon, " O 
cross more bright," etc. King Eugenius, however, who nearly 
all the days of his reign eschewed peace, having at length 
reached the goal of life, wished to be, even after his death — as 
he had been in life — a continual terror to the enemy. So, in 
order that the people of the kingdom might not, in future, be in 
need of a defender, though he himself were dead, he appointed 
by will, which his loyal chiefs were sworn to carry out, that 
on his death, they should at once cut off" his right arm at 
the shoulder, and bury it, decked with the war device of the 
lion, and with sword in hand, as a strong bulwark for them 
ever after. A certain chronicle, however, has ascribed the 
burying of the king's hand in this way to King Eugenius, the 


son of Congal, and not to this one. It is left to the reader's 
judgment whether it should be ascribed this one, or rather to 
the other. 


Accession of King Ferchardus, and his hrother Donaldiis, blessed, 
while yet a hoy, by Saint Columba — Beturn of Saint Oswald 
to his Fatherland, 

In A.D. 622, the tenth year of the chief Heraclius, Eugenius 
was succeeded in the kingdom by the elder of his sons, Fer- 
chardus, who reigned ten years, and in whose time nothing worth 
remembering happened. About the beginning of his reign, 
Mahomet, the magician and false prophet, led astray the Arabs, 
who are also called Saracens, and many peoples. When this Fer- 
chardus had been buried in the island of Columba (Hycolumb- 
kill or lona), his brother, Donenaldus Brek, took upon him the 
kingship, in A.D. 632, the twentieth year of the said Heraclius, 
and reigned fourteen years. Adamnan relates that this same 
Donenaldus, while yet a boy, was brought by merchants to 
Saint Columba in the island of Dorcete; and when Saint 
Columba had looked upon him, he strictly inquired of them, 
saying, " Whose son is this whom ye have brought?" They 
answered, " This is Donenaldus, son of Eugenius ; and therefor 
is he brought unto thee, that he may return enriched with tliy 
blessing." Whereupon the saint blessed him, saying, " He shall 
outHve all his brethren, and shall become a very famous king. 
Nor shall he ever be betrayed into the hands of his enemies ; 
but, in old age, he shall die a peaceful death in his bed, at 
home, in presence of a crowd of friends and retainers." And 
all this was verily fulfilled, according to the foreshowing of 
the holy man. In the second year of this king, Edwin, king 
of the Northumbrians, who had driven the above-mentioned 
sons of Ethelfrid out of the kingdom, was slain by Cadwallo, 
king of the Britons, and Penda, king of the Mercians. Where- 
upon his brothers Andefrid and Oswald, and the other 
nobles, who had then sojourned seventeen years in exile in 
Scotland, being certified of his death from trustworthy infor- 
mation, came into the king's presence, and begged him to 
grant them their liberty, and graciously deign to vouchsafe 
them some help whereby to win back their father's kingdom. 
The king, accordingly, freely gave them full leave to go away 
or come back, — and even promised them help against Penda 


or any of the Saxons; but he altogether refused it against 
Cadwallo and the Britons, who had long been bound to the 
Scots by the friendship of a faithful alliance. Moreover, 
though less moved thereto by liking for the Saxon race than by 
zeal for the Christian religion, he sent with them a strong body 
of warriors, to the end that they might safely cross the marches 
of his kingdom. Being, therefore, supported by so large a host, 
they entered their father's kingdom, and were gladly wel- 
comed by the inhabitants. Their eldest brother, Andefrid, 
was, likewise, at once crowned king of Bernicia. At that time 
also, Osric, who was baptized by Bishop Paulinus, took upon 
him the kingdom of Deira. For the kingdom of Northumbria 
was then divided into the two countries of Bernicia and Deira. 
These kings, however, Andefrid and Osric, when they had re- 
covered their kingdoms, abjured the Catholic faith, and went 
back to the service of idols. 


Saint Osvjald — Saint Aydan chosen to convert the Saxons. 

All the time that Edwin reigned, says BeAe, the sons of 
the aforesaid King Ethelfrid, with many of the youth of the 
nobility, lived in banishment among the Scots, and were there 
taught the doctrine of the Scots, and regenerated by the grace 
of baptism. Upon the death of the king, their enemy, they 
were allowed to return to their native land. Andefrid, the 
first of them, assumed the sovereignty over the Bernicians, 
while Osric, as above related, was set over the kingdom of 
Deira. Both these kings, as soon as they had obtained 
the badge of an earthly kingdom, forswore the sacraments 
of the heavenly kingdom, and again gave themselves over to 
be defiled and ruined by the abominations of their former 
idolatry. Nor was it long before Cadwallo, king of the Britons, 
slew both these kings — with impious hand, indeed, but through 
the just vengeance of God. Then when Saint Oswald had 
held the provinces of the Northumbrians for a whole year 
after the murder of his brother, he advanced with a small army, 
but fortified with faith in Christ, and slew King Cadwallo 
himself, with his immense forces. The field of battle is near 
that wall, in the north, which is called Thirlwall — wherewith 
the Eomans formerly fenced the whole of Britain from sea to 
sea, to ward off the attacks of the Scots. This same King 
Oswald, when he assumed the sovereignty, desiring that the 



whole nation over which he had just been set should be imbued 
with the grace of the Christian faith, sent to the elders of the 
Scots — among whom he himself, and those soldiers who were 
with him, when in banishment, had received the sacraments of 
baptism — and asked them to send him a bishop, through whose 
teaching, the nation of the Angles which he ruled might learn 
the benefits of faith in the Lord, and embrace its sacraments. 
Nor was it long before he got what he wanted. For there was 
first sent, to preach to them, a certain man of harsh disposition, 
who, after he had preached for some time to the nation of the 
Angles, and met with no success, returned to his native land, and, 
in an assembly of the elders, reported that he had not been able to 
do any good in teaching the nation to which he had been sent, and 
that they were untameable and stubborn-minded men. There- 
upon they began to have great debate in the council as to what 
should be done ; for they were anxious to forward the well-being 
of that nation in what it sought, but grieved that the preacher 
they had sent had not been received. Then said Saint Aydan 
— for he also was of the council — to the priest in question, " It 
seems to me, brother, that thou wast harder than was right 
upon thy unlearned hearers, and didst not, according to the 
apostolic discipline, first offer them the milk of more gentle 
doctrine ; till, being, by degrees, nourished by the Word of God, 
they should be able to receive the more perfect, and practise 
the more sublime, precepts of God." Having heard these 
words, all who sat with him turned their eyes and counten- 
ances upon him, and began diligently to discuss what he had 
said ; and they resolved that he was worthy of the office of 
bishop, and should be sent to instruct the unbelievers and 


Preaching of Saint Aydan — Death of the holy King Oswald. 

Bede goes on to say : — Saint Oswald, then, received the holy 
bishop Aydan, a man of the greatest meekness, godliness, 
and moderation, and having the zeal of God ; and granted him 
a place for his episcopal see in the island of Lindisfarne, where 
he himself wished to have it. The king also humbly and 
willingly in all things gave ear to his admonitions, and applieil 
himself most diligently to build up and spread the Church 
of Christ in his kingdom : indeed, when the bishop, who had 
not a perfect knowledge of the Anglic tongue, preached the 


gospel there, it was often beautiful to see the king himself inter- 
preting the Word of God to his generals and thanes ; for he 
had naturally, in the long period of his banishment, perfectly 
learnt the language of the Scots. From that time they began 
to come for many a day out of Scotland into Britain, and to 
preach most devoutly the word of faith to those provinces of the 
Angles over which Oswald reigned ; and those among them 
who had received priest's orders administered to the believers 
the grace of baptism. Churches were built here and there ; the 
people joyfully flocked together to hear the Word of God ; pos- 
sessions and lands were given, of the king's bounty, to establish 
monasteries ; the little ones of the Angles, as well as their elders, 
were, by their Scottish L2asters, imbued with learning, and the 
observance of regular discipline. The holy bishop left to the 
clergy, among other lessons for a good life, a most wholesome 
example of fasting and continence ; and it was, with all men, 
the highest commendation of his teaching, that he taught not 
otherwise than he himself, and his followers, lived. His life 
was so different from the slothfulness of our times, that all who 
walked with him, whether tonsured or laymen, were bound to 
meditate — that is, to spend their time in reading the Scriptures, 
or reciting the Psalms. In the eleventh year of King Donaldus, 
this same Saint Oswald was killed by Penda, king of the 
Mercians, and was succeeded by his brother Oswiu, who had 
also been instructed in the Catholic faith, and baptized by the 
Scots. The self-same year died the emperor Heraclius. His 
son Constantine reigned in his stead, and was, in the fourth 
month of his reign, poisoned by his stepmother, Martina, and 
the patriarch Pirrus ; whereupon Martina and her son, Hera- 
clonas, seized the imperial throne. But, the next year, Hera- 
clonas and his mother, Martina, were banished — he with his 
nose cut off, and she with her tongue cut out ; and Constans, 
also called Constantine, son of the aforesaid Constantine, 
mounted the imperial throne in A.D. 644, and reigned twenty- 
six years. 


Accession of King Ferchardus — Saint Finanus, Saint FurseuSy 
Saint Foilanus, and Saint Ultanus. 

Finally, after a reign of fourteen years, Donaldus died, and 
his nephew Ferchardus Fode, son of Ferchardus, was raised to 
the government of the kingdom, and crowned. He began to 


reign in A.D. 646, the third year of Constans, or Constantine, 
and held the kingship for eighteen years, during the whole of 
which time he reigned in peace. In the sixth year of his reign, 
Aydan, the holy bishop and teacher of the Angles, passed 
away to the Lord, after having gloriously administered the 
bishopric of Northumbria for seventeen years. He was suc- 
ceeded by Saint Finan, also a Scot, who was bishop ten 
years. By the latter, just after his arrival there, the king of 
the midland Angles, Peada, son of Penda, was baptized, and 
all the earls and thanes who had accompanied him, together 
with all their households. About the beginning of the reign 
of this king. Saint Furseus, of whose parentage we have spoken 
above, full of shining virtues, went forth out of Scotland on a 
pilgrimage for Christ's sake, and got as far as Gaul ; where, 
l3eing received with honour by King Clodoveus, son of Dago- 
bert, he founded the convent of Lagny. Not long after, his 
brothers, Saint Foilanus and Saint Ultanus, having likewise 
vowed to go on a pilgrimage, followed him, and lived illustrious 
lives in Graul. Of these, Foilanus afterwards founded the 
monastery of Fosse, through the bounty of the virgin Gertrudis ; 
and he lies there, crowned with martyrdom. In the time of 
this king, likewise, Dido, bishop of Poitiers, was sent into 
banishment to the king in Scotland, who received him with 
honour, and entertained him for a time ; but he afterwards sent 
him back to the aforesaid King Clodoveus, who received him 
again into favour. 


Saint Colman — He ^preaches for three years — His return to 

The holy bishop Finan died in the sixteenth year of King 
Ferchardus, and was succeeded by Saint Colman, likewise 
sent and ordained by the Scots. Colman, however, exercised 
his office there but three years ; for, unable to bear the envy of 
those Angles who were lettered, he left his bishopric, and 
hurried back to his native land. Now Colman, says Bede, 
after he had presided over the Northumbrian nation as bishop 
for three years, took with him part of the bones of the holy 
father Aydan, and returned to Scotland. How thrifty, how 
continent he himself and his predecessors were, the place which 
they governed bare witness. There were there, at that time, 
many of the nobility as well as of the middle class of the 
Angles. These, in the time of the bishops Colman and Finan, 


had forsaken their native land and retired thither, for the 
sake either of divine studies, or of a more continent life. And 
some of them soon devoted themselves faithfully to the monas- 
tic life, while others chose rather to go about from cell to cell, 
attending the lectures of the masters. The Scots most willingly 
received them all, and took care to supply them with daily 
food, free of cost, and also with books to read, and gratuitous 
teaching. Meanwhile, Colman, who had come from Scotland, 
quitted Britain, and returned again to Scotland, taking along 
with him the Scots he had gathered together, and about thirty 
men of the English nation, who were imbued with the teach- 
ing of the monastic life. With these he came to an island 
called Hybofynd, not far remote from Ireland ; and, building a 
monastery there, he placed therein the monks of both nations, 
whom he had brought over. These, however, could not agree 
among themselves. So he established another monastery, in a 
place called Mageo, and leaving the Scottish monks in the 
former, he appointed that the English should remain by them- 
selves in the other. 


Number of Kings of the Angles whom the Scots hajptized — Bishops 
hy whom they were hajptized. 

Through these most holy men, therefore, the bishops Aydan, 
Einan, and Colman, furthered by the Scottish kings and 
the elders of the clergy — at least either through them, or 
through others whom they had consecrated and given to the 
Angles as bishops and priests, as they had also given them 
some as teachers — were the two kingdoms of the Northum- 
brians, those of the Mercians and Middle Angles, and one half 
of the kingdom of the East Saxons, almost to the banks of the 
river Thames, converted to Christ ; and their kings and inhabi- 
ants baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, and faithfully 
taught the works of faith, and moulded thereto. 

The first king of the Angles baptized by the Scots was 
Eanfrid — although he returned to his idols as a dog to his 

Then his brother, the holy King Oswald ; at whose request, 
as stated above, the catholic faith was preached to the Northum- 
brians by the blessed Aydan. 

Also, King Oswy, Oswald's brother, and successor in the 


Oswyn, king of Deira ; who was betrayed by his own men, 
and slain by this same Oswy. 

Peada, Penda's son, king of the Middle Angles ; to whom 
Dwyma, the Scot, was given as bishop, to be over the Middle 
Angles and the Mercian people — for the scarcity of priests 
made it necessary that one bishop should be set over the two 
peoples of two different countries. 

Sigbertus, king of the East Saxons, who had lately driven 
out Mellitus, and abjured the faith. To this king, Cedda was 
sent as bishop to teach the heathen. Cedda likewise baptized 
King Swythelmus, the successor of this Sigbertus. But the 
first of the Scottish bishops who preached the faith to the 
Angles was Saint Aydan ; who, at his decease, was suc- 
ceeded by Saint Finan ; and he, by Saint Colman ; who, 
on his return to Scotland, was succeeded by Tuda, a bishop 
duly ordained by the Scots. The first bishop, again, of the 
Middle Angles and Mercians was Dwyma the Scot ; then, after 
his death, he was succeeded by Ceolach, also a Scot ; who 
afterwards, on his return to Scotland, was succeeded by Trum- 
heri, and he by Jarmuan — both, indeed, of Anglic birth, but 
educated and ordained by the Scots. 


Accession of King Maldwynics — Bishop Tuda succeeds Colman. 

Now after the death of Ferchardus, Maldewinus, son of King 
Donaldus, attained the throne of the kingdom, in a.d. 664, the 
twenty-first year of the emperor Constantine. In that year, 
Saint Colman returned to Scotland, and was succeeded by 
Tuda. But, throughout the whole time that the Scots preaclied 
in England, unshaken peace and communion prevailed, without 
the din of strife. At length, when the Anglic clergy of native 
extraction had increased and multiplied, chiefly through the 
teaching of the Scots, they all ungratefully began to turn against 
their holy teachers, and to seek frequent and sundry oppor- 
tunities of forcing them to return to Scotland, or bear the in- 
tolerable burden which was laid upon them. Hence, thereafter, 
for the twenty years that Maldwynus reigned, there seldom, 
if ever, happened to be peace between the kingdoms ; but, on 
either side, outbreak followed upon outbreak, with almost cease- 
less devastation. Nevertheless, no battle worthy of mention is 
found in the chronicles of either nation, to have been fought 
during this time. But in the fifth year of this king, the whole of 


Europe was laid low by the horrible calamity of a most grievous 
death-sickness among men. Adamnan, making mention of 
this calamity, says : — It is by no means meet to pass over in 
silence the death-sickness which, in our time, twice wasted the 
greater part of the earth. For — not to speak of the other more 
extensive countries of Europe, Italy to wit, and the city of Eome 
itself, the Cisalpine provinces of Gaul, and the Spaniards, who 
are shut off by the barrier of the Pyrennean mountains, the 
islands of the ocean, Ireland and Britain, to wit, were twice 
utterly devastated by this cruel pestilence ; with the exception 
of two nations, namely, the Scots and the Picts, divided from 
one another by the mountains of the backbone of Britain (Drum- 
alban) between them. And though neither of these nations 
are free from great sins whereby the Eternal Judge is oftentimes 
provoked to wrath, nevertheless He has hitherto patiently borne 
with them in His mercy, and spared them both. In the seventh 
year of this king, the emperor Constans, also called Constan- 
tino, was murdered in his bath by his servants ; and Mezentius, 
the Armenian, was created emperor by the soldiery. But not 
long after, Constantino, the son of this Constans who was mur- 
dered, and great-grandson of Heraclius, assumed the purple, 
and put to a most disgraceful death Mezentius and the mur- 
derers of his father. He began to reign in A.D. 670, and was 
emperor seventeen years. In his fourteenth year died King 
Maldwynus, and was buried in state in the church of Saint 
Columba, in the western isles. 


Flight of Cadwaladr, last King of the Britons, from Britain — 
Causes why God cast them out of the Kingdom. 

At this time died the last king of the Britons in Britain, 
Cadwaladr, the son of Cadwallo above referred to. Geoffrmfs 
'account of this Cadwallo, in his Gesta Britonum, is not, as is 
taught in the chronicles of Bede and the other English writers, 
that he was slain by Oswald, but that he was himself, on the 
contrary, Oswald's chief persecutor, even unto death ; and that 
he lived long after the latter's decease, ending his life by a 
natural death in his bed, after a reign of forty-eight years. 
But, as we find in these and many other histories of the Britons 
and Angles, the writings of their authors very often disagree 
as much as do the people's themselves, whose tastes are known 
to be so contrary, that neither, save under compulsion, would 


desire the same things as the other. It is expedient, at this 
point, to notice how the nation of the Britons was rent asunder ; 
that their ceaseless civil strife, their indulgence in base vices, 
their neglect of divine worship, their wanton choice of new kings, 
despising the rightful ones — by all which courses they lost the 
kingdom — may be an example to us and to other nations for 
ever. Cadwaladr, therefore, assumed the kingly ofi&ce in his 
father's stead ; and twelve years after, as the inroads of the 
Saxons became daily more serious, and being sore pressed by 
that most grievous calamity of the aforesaid death-sickness, he 
fled out of Britain, weeping, and lamenting in these, or some 
such words : — " Thou hast given us, Lord, as sheep appointed 
for meat," etc. " Woe unto us sinners ! woe unto us ! because 
of the monstrous wickedness wherewith we have not shrunk 
from offending God, while we had room for repentance. There- 
fore the vengeance of His power lies heavy upon us, and hastens 
to drive us from our native soil — us whom neither the Eomans 
of old, nor the Scots, nor the Picts could drive out ; nor yet the 
Saxons, with their wily treachery, who were always wont to 
betray, and to keep steadfast faith with no one. But in vain do 
we struggle to recover our fatherland from them, if it should not 
be God's will that we should longer reign therein. For the 
righteous Judge Himself, seeing that we would in no wise cease 
from our wickedness, let loose His indignation upon us, to re- 
prove us, unworthy men ; who, for our unworthiness, alas ! are 
cast out in crowds from our native country, even as useless 
tree-branches, tied in bundles, are cast out of the vineyards ; 
that we may be a warning and an example to all nations, lest 
they should, in time to come, provoke God by such crimes. 
Whither, oh miserable nation ! whither, pray, are gone tlie 
strivings and broils of your civil wars ? wherewith ye failed 
not yourselves to bring to nought your most pleasant countiy 
of Britain. On the other hand, the Saxons, with their troth 
belied, now hold such undivided sway therein that they will not 
let you wage war there, even against the stranger, — far less 
among yourselves. What then, ye slothful nation ! — yea, a 
nation too truly slothful — what shall ye do ? Ye have now no 
means of waging civil war, nor can ye engage in war against 
the stranger. For, ever thirsting after civil strife, ye have so 
far weakened yourselves with internal disturbances, that ye 
cannot now shield from your enemies your fatherland, your 
wives and children, or — what is more than these — your freedom. 
Alas ! too late have ye understood the saying of the Gospel, 
' Every kingdom which is divided against itself,' etc. ; but ex- 
perience has just taught you that this sentence is too true. 


For now, therefor do ye see your kingdom desolate, and in 
the hands of most ungodly heathens, because the frenzy of 
civil discord, and the fumes of spite have blunted your minds ; 
and because your pride would not let you yield due obedience 
to one, and that the rightful king, ye see house falling on house, 
and the whelps of the barbarian lioness snatching from you 
your towns, cities, and other possessions ; wherefrom so miser- 
ably are ye driven out that ye shall hardly, if ever, recover your 
former honourable estate," 


These causes continued — Future return of the Britons prophesied 
hy an Angel — Some of Merlin's Prophecies on this event. 

Cadwaladr, therefore, fleeing out of Britain, came to the 
region of Bretagne ; and there, when, after tarrying some 
time, he was proposing to return to Britain, an angel instructed 
him, with voice of thunder, not to carry out what he had 
conceived in his mind. " For God," said he, " will not have 
thy nation reign any longer in Britain for the present, before 
the fated time has come. Then, however, the Britons, through 
the merits of their faith, shall obtain the kingdom ; yet let 
them not hope that time shall be, until they have possessed 
themselves of thy remains, and brought them over from Rome 
into Britain." Having, therefore, heard the angel speak these 
words, he went to Eome, and died there. Merlinus Amhrosius 
prophesies as follows, on the Britons recovering the kingdom : — 
" Cadwaladr shall call upon Conan, and take Albania into fellow- 
ship. Then shall there be slaughter of the stranger-born ; then 
shall the rivers run with blood ; then shall burst forth the 
mountains of Armorica, and shall be crowned with the diadem 
of Brutus," etc. To proceed — his son Inor and his nephew Yny 
got their ships together ; and repairing, now to Wales, now to 
Scotland, they troubled for many years the kingdom of Britain 
with their savage attacks. From this time — namely, about a.d. 
660 — Britain lost her ancient name, and from the nations of the 
Angles took its modern name of Anglia (England). Bede, in 
explaining this name, has written as follows : — Furthermore, 
from the Angles, that is, the people who came from that part of 
Germany which is called Angulus, the rest of the Anglic 
nations are named. The Britons, then, being scattered abroad, 
betook themselves, some, to the kingdom of Armorica, some, to 
Gaul, some to Scotland, never more to return home ; but 


others, again, to Wales ; choosing rather to run the course of 
their wretched lives in the uttermost ends of their own country, 
in freedom, than to be subject to the dominion of their foes, in 
slavery. For, to every one, the hardest lot in slavery, is to 
serve as a slave in one's native country, where one was wont to 
lord it in freedom. 


Accession of the Kings JEugenius IV. arid Eugenius V. — 
Saint Cuthbert — Saint Adamnan. 

On the death of King Maldwynus, he was succeeded by his 
nephew Eugenius iv., son of Dongardus, son of Donald Brek. 
Eugenius reigned three years, beginning in a.d. 684, the fif- 
teenth year of the Emperor Constantine. Now in the second 
year of this king, Saint Cuthbert was ordained bishop, being 
the third in order after Saint Colman, the Scot of whom we 
spoke above. The same year Egfrid, king of the North- 
umbrians, was slain by the Scots. King Egfrid, says Bede, 
rashly leading his army to waste the province of the Scota, 
much against the advice of his friends, and particularly of 
Saint Cuthbert, of blessed memory, who had lately been 
ordained bishop — was drawn, by the feigned flight of the 
enemy, into the defiles of inaccessible mountains, and slain, with 
the greater part of the forces he had brought with him. From 
that time the hopes and courage of the kingdom of the Angles 
" began to waver and to retrograde ;" for the Picts, the Scots 
who were in Britain, as well as some part of the Britons, re- 
covered the lands that belonged to them which the Angles had 
been holding. This Eugenius, after his death, was succeeded 
by Eugenius v., in a.d. 687, the first year of Justinian ii., who 
succeeded his father Constantine, and held the imperial throne 
ten years. King Eugenius likewise reigned ten years. He was 
the son of Ferchardus Fode. And, all his days, he had peace 
with the Angles ; but, with the Picts, war, broken by an occa- 
sional truce. For, in his time King Alfrid, the illegitimate 
brother of the aforesaid Egfrid, reigned in Northun^bria, albeit 
not over the same extent of country as his brother had held 
dominion over; and, forasmuch as he had, for a considerable 
number of years, devoted himself to literary studies in Scotland 
and Ireland, he was well known to King Eugenius, as they had 
seen a great deal of each other. So tliey steadfastly maintained 
peace, one towards another, along the borders of their realms. 


In his days, likewise, flourished Saint Adamnan, the Scot, 
mighty in virtues and miracles. And during his reign, a rain 
of blood poured down from on high, for seven days, upon the 
whole island, both Scotland and Britain, and all the milk and 
butter was turned into blood. 


Accession of King Amrikelleth — His Death — Saint Chillian, the 
Scot, and his Disciples. 

Peace being thus established with the Picts and Angles, 
Eugenius, at his decease, left the throne to his successor Amri- 
kelleth, the son of Findan, the son of Eugenius iv. But Amri- 
kelleth, who was crowned the same year, a.d. 697, broke through 
the terms of peace, and made ready for war against the Picts. 
And, before that very year was over, while beating the cover of 
the thick woods, on first marching into their lands, many of his 
host were shot with arrows ; and the king himself was hit by an 
arrow, and wounded. So returning speedily he died on the 
tenth day after the wound was inflicted, and vacated the kingly 
seat in favour of his brother Eugenius. That same year, at 
Wirzburg, a castle at the entrance to Francia, the holy bishop 
of that place, Chillian, a Scot, and his disciples Clolaman and 
Colman, were privily martyred by Geylana, wife of the chief 
Gothbert, for she was afraid of being separated from her hus- 
band, as Chillian had rebuked him for having her to wife, 
who had formerly been his brother's wife. Moreover, whereas 
their death was long hidden from all men, Geylana and the 
murderers were possessed by an evil spirit, and it was divulged 
by their confession. The self-same year, too, when the em- 
peror Justinian, as has been said, had reigned ten years, the 
patrician Leo rebelled against him ; and depriving him of his 
kingdom and his nose, sent him into banishment. But, at the 
end of a year after he had assumed the imperial dignity, Leo 
was driven from the throne, thrust into prison, and had his own 
nose cut off by Tiberius ; and the latter was seven years em- 
peror. Justinian afterwards, by the help of Crebellis, king of the 
Bulgari, got back the imperial throne, and slaughtered Tiberius 
and Leo. Such was the vengeance he took upon his adver- 
saries, that, for every drop of rheum he wiped off, which flowed 
from his mutilated nose, he ordered some one of the conspirators 
to be slaughtered. After, however, he had reigned seven years 
the second time, Philip slew him, as well as his son Tiberius, 


and reigned a year and a half. Against him rose up Anastasius, 
and deprived him of his eyes, and drove him from the imperial 
throne ; and he again, two years after, was deposed from the 
imperial throne, and ordained priest, by Theodosins, who reigned 
one year. The latter, also, was deposed from the imperial throne 
by Leo iii., who afterwards became a clerk, and passed the rest 
of his life in peace. And thus, for twenty-one years, the 
Eoman empire was a laughing-stock to all men, even to the 


Accession of the Kings Eugenius VI. and Murdacus — State of 
things in Britain at that time. 

Eugenius vi., son of Findan, as above mentioned, succeeded 
his brother Amrikeleth, and reigned seventeen years, beginning 
in A.D. 698, the second year of Leo the patrician. He was a 
humble king, and of great moderation, who preferred spending 
his days in peace rather than in war — and would rather disturb 
wild beasts and birds than men. Thus he drew to him, by a 
certain sagacity in his disposition, the favour and love of all 
the neighbouring nations ; and, having adorned his reign, while 
it lasted, with steadfast laws, he ended happily a tranquil life. 
After his death at Loarno, his body was taken to the islands, 
and buried in the tomb of his fathers. He was succeeded by 
Murdacus, his nephew through his brother Amrynkyleth, who 
niled the kingdom in peace, like his uncle before him, though by 
no means finding the same, or equal, favour with his neighbours. 
He began to reign in a.d. 715, and reigned fifteen years. The 
Venerable Bede, towards the end of his Chronicle, in describing 
the state of the nations in the whole of the island of Albion, at 
the time of this king's reign, has made the following remarks : — 
The nation of the Picts, says he, have, at this time, a treaty of 
peace with the Angles, and rejoice in being partakers with the 
universal Church in catholic truth and unity. The Scots that 
inhabit Britain, content with their own frontiers, no longer 
hatch plots against the nation of the Angles. The Britons, 
also, though they for the most part fight against the Anglic 
nation, through private hate, and through ill-nature, yet, being 
straightway withstood by the power both of God and man, 
can in no way succeed in their design. For though they are, 
doubtless, in part, their own masters, they are, to some extent 
also, in bondage to the Angles, and what the end of the matter 
will be, shall be seen in after ages. In the last year of 


Murdacus, two comets appeared about the sun, striking great 
terror among the beholders ; one of them preceded the rising 
sun in the morning, and the other followed him, in the evening, 
as he set ; and these presages of awful calamity heralded the 
spring — one of day, the other of night — to signify that evils 
were impending over mortals. They turned a face of fire 
against the north-west, as if bent on setting it on fire. They 
appeared in the month of January, and lasted nearly a fortnight. 


Accession of the three Kings, Ethfyn, Eugenius or NectaniiiSj and 
Fergus — Death of the latter hy the hand of the Queen. 

In a.d. 730, the thirteenth year of Leo iii., who deposed 
Theodosius from the imperial throne, Murdacus was succeeded 
by the son of Eugenius vi., Ethfyn, who reigned thirty-one 
years. He was a man worthy of the honour of being raised to 
the throne; and, for the greater part of his reign, he enjoyed the 
peace he yearned for, though, in his latter days, the Picts made 
war upon him. In the second, or, as others maintain, the fifth, 
year of this reign, died the Venerable Bede. In the twelfth 
year, Saint Eucherius, Bishop of Orleans, while in the attitude 
of prayer, was rapt into the next world; and, among other 
things he saw, he perceived King Pipin's father, Charles, tor- 
mented in hell, because he took away from churches their sub- 
stance, and distributed it, and for this alone was he damned. 
In the thirteenth year, Leo was succeeded by his son Constan- 
tine, who was thirty-five years emperor. In the twenty-first 
year, the French appointed Pipin, the Mayor of the Palace, 
king, by the authority of Pope Zachary, while King Hilderic 
received the tonsure in a monastery. Afterwards, King Pipin, 
his sons, Charles and Carloman, and his daughter, Sigilla, w^ere 
blessed by the Pope Saint Stephen, at Paris, during the solemn 
sacrament of the mass, by direction of Saint Paul, Saint 
Peter, and the blessed Denis. After Ethfyn, the kingly 
crown, in A.D. 761, the twentieth year of the emperor Con- 
stantine, devolved on the son of Murdacus, Eugenius vii. — 
called, however, Nectanius, in a certain chronicle — and he 
reigned two years. He was succeeded, in a.d. 763 (the 
twenty-second year of the aforesaid emperor), by Ethfyn's son, 
Fergus, who reigned three years. It is asserted that this king 
was put to death through poison, by his wife, the queen, who 
was over-jealous of him for lying with women. She herself 


afterwards openly confessed it, though no one suspected her of 
such a deed ; and when she looked upon the dead king's corpse, 
tearing her hair, with mournful cries, she broke forth into these 
or some such words : — " Oh ! most wretched of women, more 
cruel than any wild beast, traitress most base, what hast thou 
done ? Hast thou not, goaded on by lustful fury, wickedly slain 
the king, thy lord and husband ? Hast thou not, like a viper, 
with the most savage kind of treachery, slain the most loving 
of men, and the most beautiful, beyond the love of woman — 
who alone, of all living, was the delight of thy heart's inmost 
love ? But this wicked crime shall not go unpunished : I my- 
self shall take vengeance on myself. Hasten, then, thou cursed 
hand ! Dare to make ready for my lips that cup which thou 
didst but now tender to my lord, my sweetest love — ay, that 
cup, or a more bitter one — and fail not." Then, after she had 
quaffed the deadly liquid, straightway she went on : — " Nor 
should this draught be punishment enough for such an evil-doer 
as I am, or meet reward for one who has been guilty of 
such a crime ! Nay, I should be dragged along, hanging bound 
to the tails of horses, and my accursed body should be burnt in 
a fire of thorns, and my ashes scattered to the winds." With 
these words she grasped in her hand the dagger she had made 
ready with intent aforethought, and suddenly stabbed herself to 
the heart before the eyes of the bystanders. 


Accession of Selwalchkis — King Charles the Great, 

The successor of Fergus, Selwalchius, son of Eugenius, son 
of Ferchardus, began to reign in a.d. 766 (the twenty-fifth year 
of the emperor Constantine), and reigned twenty-one years. In 
the days of his reign he had peace with the Picts and Angles, 
although these indulged in domestic squabbles among them- 
selves. Those Angles, indeed, namely, the Northumbrians, 
whose country lay nearest to Scotland, were engaged without 
ceasing in murdering and proscribing their kings, as will more 
clearly be seen below; while Selwalchius himself, a languid 
and inactive king, far preferred rest to war — not looking to the 
increase of the State, but allowing all things to go to wrack and 
ruin through his wretched slothfulness. Yet it is believed that 
if the Scottish and Pictisli people had, at that critical time, 
kept faith and peace towards one another, as they were wont — 
nay, even if the Scottish nation alone had been led by a war- 


like chief (in the timely event, of course, of a just cause of 
war) and had made an armed attack upon the Northumbrians, 
it could, without doubt, have wrested from them all the tracts 
of Albania which had formerly belonged to them. Nothing 
memorable was, however, at that time done against their adver- 
saries, besides a few forays made, at rare intervals, under low- 
born military leaders. In the fourth year of this reign, Charles — 
who, by reason of the success and greatness of his exploits, was 
called the Great — together with his brother Carloman, succeeded 
his father Pipin, who had begotten them of Berta, the daughter 
of the Csesar Heraclius. On Carloman's death, two years after, 
Charles got possession of the whole of his father Pipin's king- 
dom, and increased it, moreover, to twice the size of the teri'itory 
his father had held. In the twelfth year — that is, A.D. 7 7 7 — Leo, 
Constantine's son, obtained his father's empire, and was five years 
emperor. After his death he was succeeded by Irene, a great- 
hearted woman, who, with her son Constantine, ruled the em- 
pire nearly ten years, beginning in A.D. 782. As for King 
Selwalchius, he died a tranquil death at Innerlocho, and lies 
with his fathers in the island. 


Accession of King Achay, who first entered into an Alliance with 
the Franks: Cause thereof — The distinguished Soldier Gil- 
merius the Scot. 

Selwalchius was succeeded, in a.d. 787 (the sixth year of the 
Empress Irene and her son Constantine), by Achaius, the son of 
Ethfyn, who reigned thirty-two years. His brother, we are told, 
was that distinguished soldier, Gilmerius the Scot, who long 
fought vigorously in the service of King Charles, against the 
enemies of Christ's cross ; whence, by his splendid deeds of arms, 
he won an everlasting name, glorious with military lustre. The 
friendly alliance between the Scottish and French kings, and 
their countries — which, God be praised, endures unmarred even 
to our own days — was originated by King Charles the Great and 
this Achay ; and it was first brought about as follows. Shortly 
before the reign of Achay, in the time, to wit, of his predecessor, 
the Anglic kings being puffed up with pride at having overcome 
the Britons, were not satisfied with disquieting only the neigh- 
bouring nations in the same island, the Scots, Picts, and Britons, 
but they also did their utmost to harass even the French 
nations beyond the sea, on the seaboard, by frequent plundering 


expeditions by sea, and to disturb the whole of the Belgic and 
British seas. In those days, this invincible King Charles was 
assiduously occupied in war with the heathen, and aimed at 
securing peace for all Christians, by unwearied toil, and the 
shedding of his own blood. Since, therefore, the Angles, though 
repeatedly begged to do so, would not desist from such piratical 
plundering, and the shedding of the blood of Christians, he 
busied himself in hunting up his friends on all sides, and those, 
especially, whom he knew to be most eager for their hurt, to the 
end that he might curb their fierceness. Accordingly, he sent 
forth his emissaries in all directions ; and some he despatched 
to King Achay, who, on his side, sent back with them his own 
agents in this matter, which was in all respects approved by 
him, to the end that the covenant and compact of the friendly 
treaty they had entered into should be secured by equitable con- 
ditions, and, having been reduced to indented writings, should 
be mutually signed by both kings. Furthermore, he wrote 
again and again to his friends, maintaining that it was not un- 
lawful to declare war against any king, Christian though he 
were, who violently falls upon the rear of a chief at war with 
the unbelieving heathen. War, however, did not follow upon 
these fearful threats which were noised abroad ; for, on the 
English submissively promising peace for the future, Charles, 
with great kindness and goodwill, consented unto them. Of 
this treaty of peace between them, namely, Charles and the 
Angles, Alcwyn wrote to his companion, saying: — Some say 
that we are to be sent by the Anglic kings to King Charles, 
to treat of peace. William, likewise, describing some of the 
acts of Bishop Egbert, says : — ^As a competent witness to which 
matter, I cite Alcwyn, who was sent by the Anglic kings to 
King Charles the Great, to treat of peace; he says: — "Eor, 
lately, there has sprung up a slight difference between France 
and Scotland, whereof the devil feeds the flame ; and inter- 
navigation has been forbidden and stopped," 


Ambassadors of the Scots sent to Charles, to confirm this Alliance, 

William, again, mentioning this difference in another passage, 
writes: — Offa, king of the Mercians, by repeated embassies, 
made a friend of Charles the Great, king of the French ; though he 
could find little in the disposition of Charles to second his views. 
They had disagreed before, insomuch that violent disagreements 


having arisen on both sides, even the traffic of merchants 
was forbidden. To the end, therefore, that this difference might 
be adjusted, Alcwyn, who was in Paris, with some others, wrote 
back as follows to King Offa, about the aforesaid Scottish am- 
bassadors, who were just leaving Charles, to go back to Scot- 
land : — " Let your esteemed grace be apprised that our lord 
King Charles has spoken with me lovingly of you, saying that 
you have a most trusty friend in him ; and he sends your grace 
worthy gifts, and to the several episcopal sees of your kingdom. 
In like manner he had directed presents to be sent to Ethelred 
(also called Ethelbert), king of Northumbria, and for the sees of 
his bishops ; but, alas ! just as the gifts were put into the hands 
of the messengers, there came, by the ambassadors who had 
come from Scotland, and returned through your country, sad 
tidings of the faithlessness of the people, and death of the 
king himself. So Charles took back his bountiful gifts ; and 
is so exceeding wroth with that nation, calling it faithless and 
perverse, and the murderer of its sovereign lords, and deeming 
it worse than the heathen, that, had I not interceded for it, he 
would have already done it every hurt he could contrive, and 
deprived it of every advantage within his power." And since 
its treacherous murder of this King Ethelred is mentioned in 
this place, do not, reader, consider me a calumniator of this my 
nation, if I bring in here the wicked assassinations, the un- 
heard-of betrayals and proscriptions of the rest of its kings, who 
preceded this one — as its truthful historians testify in their 
writings ; for I do so, not to slander any nation whatsoever, 
but for a warning and an example to nations to come, to 
shrink from the wickedness of such horrible crimes. 


Heinoits Treachery of the Northumbrians towards their Kings, 
so that none durst rule them. 

Now, iu the third year of Achay, this same king of North- 
umbria, Ethelred, or Ethelbert, or Ethelwald (for he had three 
names), fell by the foul treachery of his subjects. The names 
of the other kings of the aforesaid country, who, in like 
manner, perished through treachery, will be seen below in their 
order. Oswyn, the son of Osric, and king of Deira (which is 
one-half of Northumbria), thinking it prudent, says William, to 
abstain from war, owing to the smallness of his army, secretly 
withdrew to a country seat, where, being betrayed by his own 



people, he was straightway killed by Oswy. Osred, likewise, 
the son of Alfred, and king of the whole of Northumbria, died, 
slaughtered through a plot of his kinsmen, subjects of his — 
namely, Cenred and Osric ; who reigned after him — the former, 
for two years, and the latter, for twelve, and left only this to be 
recorded of them, that they expiated the blood of their 
slaughtered lord, the king, and polluted the air by their foul 
end. After them Celwlf climbed to the supreme place in the 
tottering kingdom, and was succeeded by Egbert. Both these 
kings, unwiUing to await the fate of former kings, entered 
religious orders, and were shorn. Osulf succeeded his father, 
Egbert, and was slain by his subjects a year after, harmless as 
he was, thus making room for Mollo. This Mollo discharged 
the duties of king, vigorously enough, for eleven years, and then 
fell before the treachery of Alcred. Alcred, likewise, when he 
had filled, for ten years, the throne he had usurped, was com- 
pelled by the inhabitants to retire. Ethelbert, the son of Mollo, 
having been set up as king by general consent of the people, 
was, at the end of five years, driven out by them. Olwold was 
next hailed king; and, eleven years afterwards, he rued the 
perfidy of the inhabitants, being murdered, though guiltless. 
His nephew, Osred, the son of Alcred, succeeded him, and was 
expelled after barely a year; thus vacating the kingdom for 
Ethelred, who was also called Ethelbert, of whom mention was 
made before. This man, the son of Mollo, was also called by a 
third name, Ethel wald. He obtained the kingdom after twelve 
years of exile, and held it four years ; at the end of which time, 
not having been able to escape the fate of the foregoing kings, 
he was pitifully murdered in the year stated above. At this, 
many of the bishops and the nobility were greatly shocked, and 
fled from their native land. After this Ethelred, none durst 
ascend the throne ; for every one feared that the mischance of 
the preceding kings would fall to his lot. Thus, being without 
a ruler for thirty-three years, that province was the laughing- 
stock and prey of its neighbours. Such are William's words. 

Itise of the Paris Schools. By whom Established. 

About the same time, during Achay's reign, the Paris schools 
were first founded by two clerks from Scotland, most learned 
men — namely, John and Clement — furthered by Charles the 
Great. Vincentiiis writes in the Speculum : — God, the Almighty 


disposer of things, and ordain er of kingdoms and seasons, when 
He had, in the Eomans, broken off the iron or earthen feet of 
that wondrous statue, set up, through the illustrious Charles, the 
golden head of a no less wondrous statue, in the French. For 
when that king began to reign alone in the west, the study of 
letters was everywhere sunk in oblivion, and the worship of the 
true Godhead was therefore lukewarm. But it came to pass that 
there arrived on the coast of Gaul, with some merchants, two 
Scottish monks, men of matchless learning, both in secular and 
in sacred writings. These men, though they exhibited nothing 
for sale, were daily wont to shout to the crowds who came together 
to buy : — " Whosoever covets wisdom, let him come to us and get 
it, for we have it for sale." They kept on shouting these words 
so long, that they were at length brought to the ears of King 
Charles — always a lover of wisdom — by such as marvelled at 
those men, or thought them mad ; whereupon he straightway 
summoned them to his presence, and asked them whether they 
really had wisdom, so that he might purchase some. " We not 
only have wisdom," said they, " but are ready to give it to those 
who seek it in the name of the Lord." On his asking them, 
then, what they wanted for it, they answered : — " Only a suitable 
spot, clever minds, and that without which we cannot go through 
this pilgrimage, — food, and wherewithal we may be clothed." 
When he had heard this, he was filled with exceeding great joy 
and he at first kept them both with him for a short time. After- 
wards, however, when compelled to go on warlike expeditions, 
he caused one of them, named Clement, to abide in Gaul — at 
Paris — and recommended to him a good many boys, of the better, 
middle, and lower, classes ; directing that victuals should be 
supplied them, as they had need, and dwellings allotted them 
for meditation. The other, John, he despatched to Italy ; and 
made over to him the monastery of Saint Augustine, near the 
town of Ticinum (Pavia) ; so that those who wished to learn 
might flock thither. John, after he had tarried there some 
time, returned to Paris, at the king's command ; and, having 
reached a great age, he there ended a glorious life. But Alcwyn, 
of the English nation, having heard that Charles welcomed the 
wise gladly, took ship and came to him with his fellows, well 
trained in all manner of writings ; and the king kept him with 
him until his life's end. — This passage Vincentius took out of 
the Chronicles of the metropolis of Aries, and added it to his 
writings in the Speculum Historiale. In the tenth year of 
Irene, her son Constantine deprived her of the empire, and was 
seven years emperor ; at the end >of which time she deprived 
him of sight and of the empire, in a.d. 798, and was, for four 
years, sole empress. 



Charles and his son Louis emperors — Succession of Kings of 
France, from Clovis up to this Charles. 


Accession of the Kings Convallus and Dun^allus, who revived 
the long-slumbering War against the Picts. 

After King Achay had ended his life, his kinsman Convallus 
was raised to the government of the kingdom, in A.D. 819 — the 
sixth year of the Emperor Louis ; and reigned five years. That 
same year died Kynwlf, king of the Mercians, and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Kynelm, who was, while still in his boy- 
hood, harmless as he was, slain by his sister Quendrida, and 
earned the name and honour of martyrdom, the grace of God 
besteading him. The following year, there began to be mooted 
a great question as to the right to the Pictish throne ; for it was 
asserted that the Scots were entitled to it ; and it was venti- 
lated in the mouths of all, whether chiefs or churls. They did 
not, however, proceed to active measures. Full five years after, 
on the death of Convallus, Dungallus, the son of Selwalchius, 
straightway began to reign, in A.D. 824 — the eleventh year of the 
emperor Louis ; and reigned seven years. By him was renewed 
the war against the Picts, which had slumbered for nearly fifty 
years ; forasmuch as he said that their throne was his, by virtue 
of an old covenant. Now, the primitive law of succession of 
their kings and chiefs, according to Bede and other chronicles, 
is this : — When the Picts first came into this island, they had 
no wives of their own nation. So they asked the Scots for their 
daughters ; and they consented to give them on this one condi- 
tion, that, when any doubt should arise as to the succession to 
kingdom or dominion, the Picts should choose their kings 
from the female, rather than the male, line ; which custom 
is well known to be constantly observed among the Picts. 
And this, perhaps, may have been the cause of this claim or 
dispute. For true it is that it is gathered, from their chronicles 
and histories, that, in the days of peace, from the very begin- 
ning, true friendship was fostered between them to such a pitch, 
that their kings and chiefs almost always got themselves con- 
sorts and wives of the sons and daughters of the Scottish kings 
and chiefs on the other side — and the reverse. But He, from 


whom nothing is hidden, knows the ultimate cause of this 
dispute ; and by whose fault was begun this most cruel war, 
which had no end, until it pleased Him who rules all kingdoms, 
and scatters them at will, that the Picts should be wholly over- 
come, and the Scots should finally obtain the palm of victory, 
together with their kingdom. Then, in the seventh year, died 
Dungallus, though it is stated elsewhere that he was killed in 
battle ; he was buried in the church of the blessed Columba, 
and lies in the islands, beside his father. 




Btde of Succession of foregoing and subsequent Kings of the Scots, 
down to the time of Malcolm, the son of Kenneth. 

We have shown, above, the true dates of the accessions of 
the Scottish kings who reigned after Eergus, the son of Erth, 
in the northern part of Albion, together with the Picts. And 
now it is fitting to go on to the monarchs who acquired sole 
dominion over the whole of that part, after the Pictish tribes 
were overthrown ; and to show forth some of their exploits, as 
well as the dates of their reigns — even as we are taught in the 
volumes of the ancients. But we must first speak of the rule 
of their succession. For the question is often asked, why the 
sons did not commonly succeed their fathers in the government 
of the kingdom, as the custom of modern times requires, rather 
than the brothers, as is implied in the succession of the fore- 
going kings. This, then, was done in those days, for the same 
law of succession obtained with the Scots, the Picts, and the 
kings of a great many countries, as well as with certain of the 
chiefs of the empire — to wit, on each king's death, his brother, 
or his brother's son, if he had the advantage over the king's 
son in age or fitness to rule, even though more remote in 
degree of kinship, came, before him to the throne. For it 
was not nearness in blood, but fitness as having attained to 
full puberty, that raised this or that man to the king's throne 
to reign. Now this arrangement, as to who should reign, first 
prevailed on account of the scanty numbers of a nation in 
its early days ; which, inasmuch as it is, from its weakness, 
exposed to war from all quarters in getting, or keeping, a settled 
home in freedom, shrinks from handing over to youths the 
government, not only of their kingdom, but also of their per- 
sons ; and so was established this law we have been treating of. 
This old custom of the succession of kings lasted, without a 
break, until the time of Malcolm, son of Kenneth ; when, for 


fear of the dismemberment of the kingdom, which might, per- 
haps, result therefrom, that king, by a general ordinance, 
decreed, as a law for ever, that, thenceforth, each king, after his 
death, should be succeeded in the government of the kingdom 
by whoever was, at the time being, the next descendant — that 
is, a son, or a daughter, a nephew, or a niece, the nearest then 
living. Failing these, however, the next heir, begotten of the 
royal, or a collateral, stock, should possess the right of inherit- 


Accession of King Alpin — His Defeat hy the Fids — His 
Death — Example of Hastiness. 

After the death of DungalluS; Alpin, the son of Achay, 
was at once crowned, and assumed the government of the king- 
dom, in A.D. 831. He reigned three years. With unflagging 
exertions, he continued the war against the Picts, which was 
begun by his predecessors, ravaging them constantly with his 
armies, or by repeated inroads. Accordingly, in the third year 
of his reign, during the Easter festival, the Scots came to con- 
flict with the Picts, and many of their nobles fell. Whereupon 
it came to pass that Alpin, being victorious, was puffed up 
with pride ; and, rashly engaging them in a second battle, the 
same year, on the 20th of July, he was defeated, taken, and, 
all ransom being refused, beheaded. He was beyond measure 
prone to war, and in all his actions too hasty»and impetuous. 
Now nothing, almost, so little befits one who carries on a 
war as impatience, as is shown in the Historice Romanorum. 
For Uutropius has described the two consuls — Varro, and 
-^milius, being sent to fight against Hannibal, and being 
warned by the Senate to overcome the hastiness of that im- 
petuous leader, Hannibal, by simply staving off a battle ; for the 
consul Fabius had conquered him once before, by putting off 
fighting. Nevertheless, against the opinion of his colleague 
jEmilius, Varro fought with him at Cannae, a village in Apulia ; 
and through the impatience of Varro, both consuls were van- 
quished, and 300,000 Eoman warriors perished in that fight. 
After the said battle, Hannibal offered the Romans that they 
should ransom the prisoners; but the Senate answered that 
they had no need of citizens who could be captured with arms 
in their hands. So he put them to death with various tortures, 
and sent off to Carthage three bushels of rings, which he had 

136 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

pulled off the hands of the knights, senators, and soldiers. 
Nor can there be any doubt that this day would have been the 
last of the Koman state, had Hannibal, after his victory, at 
once pressed on to occupy the city. 


Accession of King Kenneth, son of Alpin — His strange Trick 
against the Ficts, 

Kenneth, the son of Alpin, succeeded to his father's throne 
in A.D. 834 ; and to that of the Picts, when they had been over- 
come, in A.D. 839 — the twenty -fifth year of the emperor Louis ; 
that is, the year 1169 of the reign of the Scots in the island of 
Albion, and 2349 years after they went forth out of Eg\^t, under 
their first king — the son of Neolus, king of the Athenians — 
Gaythelos, and his wife Scota. Kenneth reigned nearly sixteen 
years as sole monarch of these kingdoms. He was a brave and 
wise man, of keen insight, and remarkable for the daring with 
which he carried on his war. This king, by a strange trick, 
brought the Scots into the Pictish kingdom ; the reason whereof 
was this. In the first year of his reign, while the chiefs were 
gathered together in council, he made it known that he wished 
to revenge himself for the cruel murder of his father, and of 
his kinsmen who had lately been slain in the war, many of 
whom had been killed by the Picts after they had surrendered. 
He, therefore, earnestly exhorted them to hurry on this business, 
and, having laid aside all other matters, to get ready, against 
a given day, for the expedition. They, however, appalled, with 
exceeding great fear, by the newly-fought struggle, wherein 
King Alpin and many thousands had fallen, and, moreover, 
trembling, and altogether fainting in spirit, at the din of this war, 
answered like cowards or old women, and said, with one voice, 
unto the king : — " We neither would nor should leave undone, 
Sir King, anything for the defence of thy kingdom, or any other 
task thou might appoint us to do — save one. We do not wish 
to trespass over the landmarks of the Picts ; for, in short, we 
dare not invade them. Fear so great has, until now, filled us, 
since the time of the war, that though an angel were seat from 
God to proclaim this to us, we should probably be afraid to 
comply. For long ago, in the days of our forefathers — ay, even 
lately, in our own — the bravery of the Scots would exceed the 
daring of the lion, or of the unicorn, — tlie nature of the former 
of which is to be terror-struck at the onslaught of none ; that of 


the latter, never, alive, to come under the power of man — he 
may, indeed, be slaughtered, but never subdued alive ; and if it 
should, at any time, happen that the hunters have contrived to 
take him alive, he dies then and there. But the times are 
changed with us ; for we are more timid than women, or, if we 
may say so, than leverets." The king, therefore, seeing that he 
could make no way by exhorting them in either smooth or harsh 
terms, resolved to try a trick. For he bethought himself that 
they had not positively refused to march forth, but had hesi- 
tatingly said that, though an angel were to bid them march 
against the kingdom of the Picts, they would, perhaps, not obey 
even him. So he soon devised a scheme in his mind, and 
secretly revealed the answer of the chiefs to a certain artificer, 
a great friend of his, instructing him how to work the whole 
thing through. That artificer, on the other hand, who was a 
man of ready wit, willingly fell in with the king's wishes, 
promising, moreover, that all should be faithfully fulfilled 
to the best of his ability. So he slyly took some scaly fish- 
skins — which, in the darkness of night, shine with a good 
deal of brilliancy — and cunningly decorated therewith a cloak, 
so that it flashed as with the flaming wings of an angel; 
and then he wrapped it round him, bis whole body being 
shrouded thereby. Having thus donned this garment, he 
slipped privily into the bedchambers of the chiefs, and admir- 
ably cheated the senses, nay, the understanding, of such as were 
awake ; and charging them on the part of the Living God, he 
bade them obey, in all things, their king's instructions, and par- 
ticularly that they should in nowise be afraid to destroy the 
Pictish kingdom. The leaders, being led astray by this clever 
stratagem, went promptly to their lord the king, and promised 
him full obedience in all things. "For we have," said they, 
** most surely seen an angel, O king, face to face, who warned 
us to follow thee whithersoever thou may push on." Their 
statement was borne out by their chamberlains, who, of their 
own accord, swore to it with a great oath ; and the king like- 
wise swore to it unto them, informing them that he had heard 
and seen the same angel. 


His Victories against the Picts — He wins their Kingdom. 

When, therefore, this turned out according to his wishes, and 
was brought, in all respects, to the end he had at heart, after 


general and willing consultation, war was declared against 
the Picts ; and he gathered his forces together, and made his 
way into their country. So furiously, then, did he rage against 
not only the men, but even the women and little ones, that he 
spared neither sex nor holy orders, but destroyed, with fire and 
sword, every living thing which he did not carry off with him. 
Afterwards, in the sixth year of his reign, when the Danish 
pirates had occupied the coast, and, while plundering the sea- 
board, had, with no small slaughter, crushed the Picts who were 
defending their lands, Kenneth, likewise, himself also turned 
his arms against the remaining frontiers of the Picts, and, cross- 
ing the mountain range on their borders, to wit, the backbone of 
Albania, which is called Drumalban in Scottish, he slew many 
of the Picts, and put the rest to flight ; thus acquiring the sole 
sovereignty over both countries. But the Picts, being some- 
what reinforced by the help of the Angles, kept harassing 
Kenneth for four years. Weakening them subsequently, how- 
ever, by unforeseen inroads and various massacres, at length, 
in the twelfth year of his reign, he engaged them seven times 
in one day, and swept down countless multitudes of the Pictish 
people. .So he established and strengthened his authority thence- 
forth over the whole country from the river Tyne, beside 
Northumbria, to the Orkney Isles — as formerly Saint Adamnan, 
the Abbot of Hy (lona), had announced in his prophecy. 
Thus, not only were the kings and leaders of that nation 
destroyed, but we read that their stock and race, also, along 
with their language or dialect, were lost ; so that whatever of 
these is found in the writings of the ancients is believed, by 
most, to be fictitious or apocryphal. It does not, however, 
seem wonderful to those who read history often, that Almighty 
God — the Kuler of all kings and kingdoms, and their wondrous 
Preserver after their merits, but their terrible Destroyer after 
their shortcomings — has oftentimes allowed strong nations and 
kingdoms, and will allow them in time to come, to perish when 
their sins demand it. Whence the prophet David bears witness, 
saying : — Lo ! the sinners have obtained riches abundantly in 
this world ; how are they brought to desolation ? They have 
suddenly failed, they have perished, by reason of their unright- 
eousness. Their forms are brought to nothing, as a dream when 
one awaketh. 

Subversion of divers Kingdoms for tJieir Si7is. 



Same Continued. 


Same continued — Former power of Rome, and her present 
Helplessness because of her Sins. 


King Kenneth' s fi7ial Victory over the Picts — His Death. 

King Kenneth, then, after having, as has been just stated, 
gained seven victorious battles in one day, overran all the pro- 
vinces of the Pictish kingdom, and took the un warlike population 
under the protection of his peace. Many, nevertheless, disdain- 
ing to submit their necks to slavery, and with the hope of resis- 
tance, followed a new king they had created. Kenneth, however, 
shortly afterwards, sent forth some columns of foot soldiers 
against them, and slew some of them, with their king ; while 
others he compelled to surrender, and took them prisoners. But 
the remainder long roamed, in robber bands, through the vast 
solitudes, and would neither altogether surrender nor accept 
but peace ; at length, hard pressed, and having nowhere to hide 
their heads, they sought relief by fleeing to the Angles and Nor- 
wegians. And thus God granted that it should come to pass 
that Kenneth should be the first of all the kings to take the whole 
of the north-western end of Albion under his sole sovereignty, 
thus happily welding the two kingdoms into one. He also 
framed laws, called the Macalpine Laws, and appointed that 
they should be observed ; whereof some remain to this day, 
and are in vogue amongst the people. When the kingdom had 
thus been imbued with law and peace, after the many and 
countless stormy troubles of so long a time, Kenneth passed 
away to the Lord, at Forteviot, at the end of full sixteen 
years and eight months of his reign as sole monarch ; and he 
was, with becoming honours, amid the deepest wailing of the 
Scots, buried in the island of lona, where, formerly, were laid 
in the ground King Fergus, the son of Erth, and his two 
brothers. Loam and Tenegus — may their souls have peace for 
ever ! Now, this Kenneth was the son of King Alpin, 


Son of Achay, 

Son of Ethfin, 

Son of Eugenius, 

Son of Eindan, 

Son of Eugenius, 

Son of Dongardus, ^ 

Son of Donaldus Brek, 

Son of Eugenius Buyd, 

Son of Aidanus, 

Son of Gowranus, 

Son of Dongardus, 

Son of Fergus, 

Son of Erth. 
This Fergus recovered the sovereignty, which had been with- 
held for forty-three years, by the craft of the tyrant Maximus, 
and the might of the Picts, and restored it to its olden freedom, 
as was shown above. 


Preliminary remarks to the Catalogue of Pictish Kings. 

As we have above noticed the overthrow of the Picts, it will 
not seem out of place to give here the catalogue of their kings, 
and some other facts we have found in the volumes of the 
ancients. A clear account of their origin, the reason why they 
came into these parts, and whence, will be found in Chapters 
XXIX., XXX., and xxxi. of Book i. It will there be seen that they 
inhabited part of this kingdom before our Lord's Incarnation — 
before the Scots, or, at least, at the same time ; though there are 
chronicles which assert that the Scots possessed this country 
long before the Picts, for an interval of three hundred years. 
Geqffroy, in Book v. Chapter vi. of his Chronicle, states that the 
Picts had their origin after our Lord's resurrection, in the days 
of Vespasian ; and that the Scots then first grew out of them. 
But most chroniclers know well enough whether that is so, or 
not. He would have been nearer the truth had he written that, 
at that time, the Moravians, uniting with the Picts and Scots, 
came against the Eomans into this country imder their leader 
Koderic — who was certainly a Moravian, and not a Pict ; and by 
the offspring which they begot of their daughters, their multi- 
tude was greatly increased. But it could easily be proved, by 
the duration of their reigns, that they began long before this. 
For the truth is that they reigned 1100 years, or more, in 


Albion; and there is no doubt that they perished by the 
sword of the before-mentioned King Kenneth. So there can be 
no doubt that they took their origin, not after the Incarnation, but 
before. But if any one, by chance, should be pleased to object 
that it is incredible that King Ghede, or his successor Tharan, 
reigned so long a time that one hundred years are reckoned for 
the one, and one hundred and fifty for the other, the reader may 
answer that, though only fifty years were ascribed to either of the 
kings, it would still be found that the Picts began a hundred 
years, or more, before the time of the Incarnation. As some, 
therefore, murmur at so great a number of years being allotted 
to their reigns, we think fit to leave the computation of the 
years of both these kings to be corrected by the reader who 
would search thoroughly into the truth thereof. The duration 
and order of the reigns of the other kings, however, my pen 
shall run over, as best it can. 


Catalogue of Pictish Kings — Arrival of the blessed Ahhot 

The first king among the Picts was Cruythne, son of Kynne, 
the judge ; and he reigned fifty years. 

After him, the second was Ghede. 

The third, Tharan ; to these two, as was said above, two hun- 
dred and fifty years are set down. 

King Tharan was succceeded by Dinorthetisy, who reigned 
twenty years. 

Then Duchil reigned forty years. 

Duordeghel, twenty. 

Decokheth, sixty (forty). 

Combust, twenty. 

Caranarhereth, forty. 

Garnarchbolger, nine. 

Wypopneth, thirty. 

Blarehassereth, seventeen. 

Prachna the White, thirty. 

Thalarger Amfrud, sixteen. 

Canatalmel, six. 

Dongard Nethles, one. 

Peredach, son of Pynyel, two. 

Garnard the Eich, sixty (forty). 

Hurgust, son of Porgso, twenty- seven. In the time of this 


king's reign, as described in Book ii. Chapter xlyiil, some of 
Saint Andrew's relics were brought to Scotland, by the blessed 

Thalarger, son of Keother, succeeded Hurgust, and reigned 
twenty-five years. 

Durst, otherwise called Nectane, son of Irb, forty-five years. 
This king, it is asserted, lived a hundred years, and went 
through a hundred battles. During his reign. Saint Paladius, 
the first bishop of the Scots, was sent by the blessed Pope 
Coelestinus to teach the Scots, who, however, had been long 
before believers in Christ. 

Thalarger, son of Anile, succeeded him, and reigned two 

Nectane Chaltamoth, ten years. 

Durst Gornoth, thirty. 

Galaam, fifteen. 

Durst, son of Gigurum, five. 

Durst, son of Othtred, eight. 

Durst, son of Gigurum, a second time, four. 

Garnard, son of Gigurum, six. 

Kelturan, his brother, also six. 

Tholorger, son of Mordeleth, eleven. 

Durst, son of Moneth, one. 

Thalagath, four. 

Brud, son of Merlothon, nineteen. During his reign. Saint 
Columba came to Scotland, and converted him to the faith. 
Saint Columba, says Bede, came to Britain during the reign, 
over the Picts, of Brude, a most mighty king, the son of 
Meilothon ; in the ninth year of his reign, which was the five 
hundred and sixty-fifth from our Lord's Incarnation. 


Catalogue continued — Conversion of Brude, King of the Picts, 
by the blessed Columba — ITie Prince of the Orkneys then a 

We read in the history of Saint Columba : — In the first toil- 
some journey of the blessed Columba to visit King Brude, it so 
happened, by chance, that the king, being jealous of his kingly 
pomp, did not, in his pride, open the gates of his fortress at 
the first arrival of the holy man. When the man of God per- 
ceived this, he came up to the panels of the gates, with his com- 
pany ; and, having first made the sign of our Lord's cross upon 



them, he put his hand against the door, and knocked. There- 
upon, the bolts were at once forcibly thrust back of themselves, 
and the doors flew open with all speed. As soon as they were 
open, the saint and his companions entered, one after the other. 
When the king learnt this, he and his council were sore afraid ; 
so he went forth out of his palace, and advanced to meet the 
holy man with all reverence, addressing him most courteously 
with words of peace ; and, from that day forwards, that ruler 
reverenced the holy and venerable man exceedingly, all the rest 
of the days of his life, and honoured him highly, as was meet. 
Now, in these days, while this saint sojourned beyond Drum- 
alban, a certain monk who wished to get a home in the wilder- 
ness, after he had launched forth from the shore, full sail 
through the boundless ocean, was recommended by him to this 
Brude, king of the Picts, in the presence of the prince of the 
Orkneys, in these words : — " Some of ours have lately been sailing 
about the pathless deep, wanting to find a desert. After their 
long roaming, should they chance to reach the Orkney islands, 
commend them diligently to this prince, whose hostages are in 
thy hand ; lest any untoward thing be done against them within 
his borders." This was thus spoken by the saint, because he 
knew in the spirit that, a few months after, that monk, whose 
name was Cormack, would come to the Orkneys — which, after- 
wards, so turned out ; and by reason of the aforesaid recommen- 
dation of the holy man, that monk was delivered from impending 
death in the Orkneys. 


Catalogue continued — The King with whom the Pictish Kingdom 
came to an end. 

Gaenard, son of Dompnach, succeeded this King Brude, and 
reigned twenty years. He founded Abernethy. 
Nectane, son of Irb, reigned eleven years. 
Kenel, son of Luchtren, fourteen. 
Nectane, son of Fode, eight. 
Brude, son of Fachna, five. 
Thalarger, son of Farchar, eleven. 
Talargan, son of Amfrud, four. 
Garnard, son of Dompnal, five. 
Durst, his brother, six. 
Brud, son of Bile, eleven. 
Gharan, son of Amfedech, four. 


Brud, son of Decili, twenty-one. 

Nectane, his brother, eighteen. This king, according to Bede, 
received a letter from England on the observance of the Easter 

Garnard, son of Feredach, succeeded Nectane, and reigned 
fourteen years. 

Oengussa, son of Fergusa, reigned sixteen years. 

Nectane, son of Dereli, nine months. 

Oengussa, son of Brude, six months. 

Alpin, son of Feredeth, likewise six months. 

Alpin then reigned, a second time, for twenty-six years. 

Brude, son of Tenegus, reigned two years. 

Alpin, son of Tenegus, also two. 

Durst, son of Thalargan, one. 

Thalarger, son of Drusken, four. 

Thalarger, son of Tenegus, five. 

Constantine, son of Fergusa, forty. He built Dunkelden 

Hungus, son of Fergus, ten years. During the reign of 
King Hungus, there reigned in Wessex King Athelwlf, the head 
of whose eldest son, Athelstan, fixed on a stake, Hungus brought 
down with him into his kingdom, after he had gained the 
victory in battle, as will appear more fully in the next follow- 
ing chapter. 

Durstolorger succeeded Hungus, and reigned four years. 

Eoghane, son of Hungus, reigned three years. 

Feredeth, son of Badoc, likewise three. 

Brude, son of Feredeth, one month. 

Kenneth, son of Feredeth, one year. 

Brude, son of Fothel, two. 

Drusken, son of Feredeth, three. With this King Drusken, 
also, the sovereign power of the Picts came to an end, and the 
kingdom altogether passed over from them to the Scottisli 
king Kenneth, and his successors ; and there was formed, thence- 
forth, one kingdom — that of the Scots. 


Hungus, King of the Picts, and Athelwlf, King of the Angles, 
were contemporaries — Athelstan, the son of the latter. 

Now we must show who that Athelstan was, whom King 
Hungus overthrew in battle. For there were formerly, in Eng- 
land three kings Athelstan, the first of whom was the last king 


of Kent, whose kingdom was taken over from him, and added 
to that of the West Saxons ; the second was the one in ques- 
tion, the son of iEthelwlf, upon whom his father bestowed all 
the countries of the English-born nation during his own life- 
time, except the kingdom of Wessex, which he retained in his 
own hands ; the third Athelstan, again, was the son of Edward 
son of Alfred, brother of this Athelstan of ours. King Egbert 
says William, having first subjugated the Eritons of Coin- 
wall, made the northern Britons also tributary to him. The 
kingdom of Kent, with Suthireya (Surrey), the kingdom of 
the Mercians and East Angles, the East Saxons, and the South 
Saxons, likewise became subject to him. Thus, by admitting 
the rest of the English provinces into allegiance to him, or 
as tributaries, he enlarged the kingdom of the West Saxons. 
The Northumbrians, however, who saw themselves left alone 
— both on account of their domestic quarrels, and by reason 
of their false oaths — and that the finger of scorn was pointed 
at them by all, gave hostages and yielded to his power. This 
Egbert, upon his death, was succeeded by his son ^thelwlf, 
who had begotten five sons during his father's lifetime, 
^thelwlf was mild by nature, and would rather live in quiet, 
than have dominion over many provinces. Content with only 
his ancestral kingdom of the West Saxons, as soon as he began 
to reign he handed over to his eldest son, Athelstan, the other 
dependencies which his father had subjugated. How and at 
what time, this Athelstan came by his end is uncertain. Such 
is William's account. But though that Athelstan's end is not 
shown in William, amongst us it is kept fresh in signal re- 
membrance, both in sundry writings and also in the mouths 
of the people to this day. For, when King Hungus, with a 
large army, was wasting with inhuman slaughter the neigh- 
bouring nations of the Angles — the Northumbrians, to wit — 
in those tracts which Athelstan had had granted him by his 
father while the latter reigned, Athelstan passed out of his 
own country, and arrived, wearied after several days' march, 
in a certain pleasant plain to halt in, not far from the river 
Tyne. So he commanded them to pitch the tents until the 
army, tired by the length of their journey, should be refreshed 
by a good meaL Moreover, as that plain was exceeding rich 
in corn and grass and brushwood, and watered by springs 
and streams, he decided to tarry there a few days, as fearing 




Victory of Hungus, King of the Picts, over Athelstan ; whose 
head lie directed to hefioced on a stake. 

When King Athelstan had heard this, massing together the 
strength of the whole English nation, both of the north and of 
the south, and disposing his battle-array in single companies, he 
came upon Hungus unexpectedly with his columns, and so beset 
on every side the place the latter was encamped in, that no outlet 
lay open to him for escape. Hungus was therefore alarmed, 
and the chiefs were dismayed in spirit, and feared exceedingly ; 
for they had no hope of being saved betimes by the aid of man. 
So they fell back upon God's help, which, in truth, is not 
withheld from those that ask it ; and all, both great and small, 
on their knees, address their vows to God and his saints, and 
especially to Saint Andrew, the apostle. The king, moreover, 
promised by a solemn vow that he would give, to the honour 
of God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, a tenth part of his king- 
dom to the blessed Andrew, provided he brought him and his 
army safely back home, and snatched him scathless from the 
power of that countless and proud nation. The following night 
the blessed Andrew appeared to the king, saying : — " God, to 
whom the prayer of the humble always is pleasing, and the 
vows of the proud displeasing, has, through my intercession, 
heard thy prayer. To-morrow He shall give thee a gladsome 
victory, and overthrow thine enemies before thee ; neither shall 
they prevail against thee in battle : for an angel, bearing the 
banner of the Lord's cross, shall go before thee in the sight of 
many. When, therefore, thou shalt have prosperously returned 
into thy kingdom, be thou nowise unmindful of thy vow ; but 
what thou hast thyself promised of thine own free-will, take 
heed that thou delay not to fulfil it." So the king, awaking 
from sleep, made known to his officers and people all that 
he had heard in a vision — how God, through the prayers 
of his apostle, had granted him a sure victory over his enemies. 
They all, therefore, through the confidence inspired by this 
vision, were gladdened beyond belief, and no longer fearful, as on 
tlie two previous days ; but being made brave, and much bolder 
than their wont, they dashed forward upon the foe, with shouts 
and with trumpets sounding, although they themselves were 
far fewer in numbers. Thereupon so great a panic invaded 
the hearts of the enemy, that their ranks were broken and 


they all turned to flee, except a few with the king, who held 
their ground, and were overcome and slain at the first shock. 
In memory of so miraculous a discomfiture, the king's head, 
however, was cut off from the body, and taken away by Hungus, 
who bade it be fixed on a stake at the top of a rock in the 
middle of the Scottish sea — a conspicuous object, for several 
years, to all who crossed there. Now, in the thirteenth year 
of King Kenneth, sundry fleets of the heathen made frequent 
piratical attacks on the harbours of England ; and, at length, 
took the city of London, laid it in ruins, and sacked it. 


Accession of the Kings Donald, son of Alpin, and Consta7itine, 
son of Kenneth — Death of Donald. 

After the solemn celebration of the funeral of King Kenneth 
the Great, he was succeeded, the same year he died — that is, 
A.D. 854, the fourteenth year of the emperor Lothaire — by his 
brother Donald, also a son of Alpin, who reigned four years. 
He was a renowned warrior, brave, and eager for all w^arlike 
deeds ; and he likewise achieved many a glorious victory and 
triumph in vanquishing the Picts. He studied, however, to 
foster peace and concord with the neighbouring countries and 
kings, nor did any one presume to molest his territory in any- 
wise, save some outcast Picts, who, in the days of their down- 
fall, seeing the discomfiture of their nation, fled to England. 
As soon as they had heard of the death of King Kenneth, these 
being spurred on by the English, as well as swelled by their 
columns, notwithstanding a treaty of peace that had lately been 
entered into, began to invade the borders of the kingdom ; but, 
the same year, through the judicious measures of the king and 
some faithful Picts, they were destroyed, and not one was left. 
In the third year of this reign, the Emperor Lothaire, having 
parted his kingdom among his sons, renounced the world ; 
while his son Louis ii. was promoted to the imperial throne, 
and reigned twenty-one years. King Donald, however, w^ent 
the way of all flesh at Scone, the seat of royalty ; and was 
buried in lona, beside his brother. He w^as succeeded, in a.d. 
858 — the third year of the emperor Louis — by his nephew 
Constantine, son of his brother Kenneth the Great, who reigned 
sixteen years. During his time, and the whole of that of his 
predecessors — his father and uncle, to wit — a great fleet of the 
heathen, Danes, Norwegians, and Frisians, emerged from the 


east, and disturbed the whole of the British and Belgic seas^^ 
For, in the thirteenth year of the sovereignty of his father, 
they attacked England by the river Thames, took the city of 
London, and carried off some precious spoils and treasures. 
And thus, bursting suddenly upon the two kingdoms of Scot- 
land and England — now here, now there, as they were driven 
by the winds — they continually, for many days, did a great 
deal of mischief. In the second year of this reign, frost set in, 
over nearly the whole of Europe, on the 30th of November, 
and ended on the 5th of April. In the eighth year, the king 
of the Bulgari was, with his nation, converted to Christianity, 
and was so strengthened in the faith, that, not long after, he 
advanced his eldest son to the throne, while he himself en- 
tirely renounced the world, and became a monk. But when 
his son inconsiderately wished to return to the worship of 
heathendom, he resumed the knightly belt and royal life ; and, 
having followed after his son, he took him, tore out his eyes, 
and thrust him into prison. He then placed his younger son 
on the throne ; and, taking again the sacred garb, abode therein 
until his life's end. 


Constantinc slain hy Danes and Norwegians — Accession o/ 
King Heih the Wing-footed. 

In the time of the reign of King Constantine, a second fleet 
of the heathen, larger and more formidable, came from the 
Danube, and joined the former one ; and, combining for no good 
purpose, but all for warfare and wickedness, they covered the 
seas — as it were groves planted therein. And thus it came to 
pass, shortly afterwards, that, landing in both kingdoms, they 
dwelt there without fear for days and months, as though it were 
their own home. These, it was now thought, the barbarous 
Picts, who had not yet l3een thoroughly tamed, had secretly 
enticed to Scotland ; even as one might not unlikely have sus- 
pected from the upshot of the matter. The king had many a time 
offered them a safe reception among the harbours of his kingdom, 
and leave to buy provisions to their hearts* content, if only they 
would cease from their inroads, and faithfully observe the terms 
of peace. As, however, they could not be appeased by this 
means, nor by any other treaty of peace, the king — whether on 
an appointed day, or by chance, unexpectedly, is not known — 
gave them battle at a spot named the Black Den, and fell there, 
with many of liis men. And no wonder- for he had rashly 


brought with him, to battle, like ii. snake in his bosom, some of 
the lately conquered Picts. These fled as soon as they closed 
in battle, thus giving occasion to the others to do the same. So 
the king was left on the field by a great part of his army, and be- 
set by the enemy and slain. When the enemy, after their victory 
there, had retreated to their ships, the rented inhabitants 
returned ; and, after searching the field, they found the king's 
body, and bore it with deep wailing to the island of lona, 
where it was enshrined, with great honours, in liis father's 
bosom. In England, moreover, two years before the king's 
death, the heathen of the said fleets martyred Saint Edmund, 
king of the East Angles. Constantino was succeeded, in A.D. 
874 — the nineteenth year of Louis — by his brother Heth the 
Wing-footed, who was also a son of Kenneth the Great, and who 
reigned one year. This king was so distinguished for vigour 
and nimbleness of limb, that all men called him Heth the 
Wing-footed, that is, Heth with wings on his feet ; for he had 
earned a name for swiftness above all others of his day. But 
ought he to be set above the runners of Alexander the 
Great — Anisius the Laconian, and Philonides — for nimble- 
ness, those men who, according to Solinus, went through, in 
one day, from Lapmim to Sicion, a distance of twelve hundred 
stadia (about 138 miles) ? A certain Ladas, however, seems to 
have outstripped them in speed, as the same Solinus relates ; for 
he ran so swiftly on the white dust, that he left no trace of a 
footprint on the sand. Enough for the king that he bore the 
palm for swiftness in his time. Now, according to the rule of 
the kingship, Gregory, son of Dungallus, should have come 
before him ; wherefore, the chiefs of the kingdom being divided 
amongst themselves, a battle was fought at Strathallan, wherein 
the king was mortally wounded at the first shock, and died two 
months after ; while a few of the chiefs on either side were slain 
in the fight. King Heth was buried in the island of lona, beside 
his father. 


Accession of King Gregm^y, wlio hrings tender his YoJce the ivlwle 
of Ireland and nearly the whole of England. 

Now this Gregory, when he had, with the approval of 
most of the chiefs, obtained the government of the kingdom, 
was solemnly crowned at Scone, in A.D. 875 — the twentieth year 
rif Louis — and reigned nearly eighteen years. When the cere- 


mony of his coronation was over, he forthwith firmly established 
peace throughout all the ends of his kingdom ; and granting 
full forgiveness to all who, he knew, had withstood him in battle, 
he brought them round to true friendship with him. Neither 
was he, from the beginning of his reign, forgetful or neglectful 
of divine worship — nay, he even, with the consent of the chiefs, 
granted the Church of God, and churchmen, their freedom for 
ever, confirmed by Pope John viii., who held the fifth synod at 
Constantinople. For, until then, the church had been subject 
to servitude, according to the custom of the Picts. Moreover, he 
brought the whole of Ireland, and nearly the whole of England, 
under his yoke. And though Ireland belonged to him by right 
of succession, he did not get possession of it without war on 
the part of some who withstood him. The sovereignty of his 
possessions in England he won partly by his arms, and partly 
by kindness. In his days — even as before, and long after- 
wards, pirates of various nations, as was shown above — to 
wit, Danes, Norwegians, Goths, Vandals, and Frisians — 
sharing one and the same lawless bent, were scattered over 
the harbours and lands of the English ; and, in their fury, 
unceasingly laid waste, with most woful desolation, the dis- 
tricts, especially, on the seaboard, until they had reduced them, 
in great part, under their dominion, and gained possession of 
them. Moreover, King Gregory himself, also, subdued the upper 
and western districts, even as they had those on the sea-board ; 
and he brought upon them desolation not far short of that those 
men had spread around. The natives of some provinces, how- 
ever, before he had reached their borders, gave themselves of 
their own accord, with their lands and property, into his power, 
after having sworn fealty and homage. For they deemed it a 
more blissful lot, and more advantageous, willingly to be subject 
to the Scots, who held the Catholic faith, though they were 
their enemies, than unwillingly to unbelieving heathens. All 
the provinces, says William, were burning with fierce ravages, 
because each king cared more to withstand the enemy in his 
own territory, than to extend help to his fellow-countrymen in 
their struggles. In the first year of Gregory, two Norican, or 
Danish, kinsmen — RoUo and Gello — forced their way into 
Neustria, and seized Eouen, and the other towns in the neigh- 
bourhood. In the third year, the emperor Louis died, and was 
succeeded by his uncle, Charles the Bald, who held the empire 
two years. After his death, Charles the younger was emperor 
twelve years. Now Charles, since he was unable to drive Eollo 
and his comrades from the fatherland, took counsel, and, after 
having received a solemn promise from Hollo that he would 


embrace Christianity, gave him his daughter Gilla to wife, 
and the whole of ISTeustria — which Eollo called Normandy, after 
the Normans. 


Gregory — His Death — Martyrdom of the blessed King Edmund 
— Nearly the tvhole of England at that time subject to the 
Scots and Banes. 

The English had then — in the time of Gregory, to wit — no 
defender, or, at all events, a feeble one ; for they were bereft of 
all their kings — of old, eight in number — except Alfred, king of 
the West Saxons, who, alone surviving, attacked the enemy 
with all possible courage, though with little success. Being, 
however, much more often attacked by them, and having to 
avoid the snares of enemies raging on every side, he soon fell 
into so forlorn a state that, with fearful heart, he knew not 
where to turn for a place where he could hide in safety in Eng- 
land. The Northumbrians, again, had more than once before, 
by their own fault, driven out their kings from their midst, 
but were now driven, by force of circumstances, to take back 
a king whom they had previously cast out — namely, Osbert ; 
and, shortly afterwards, they were, together with him, cruelly 
slain or burnt, under the walls of the city of York, by the 
enemy, who thenceforth held their lands by right of conquest. 
Burthred, likewise, king of the Mercians, being driven from his 
kingdom by the enemy, repaired to Rome, nevermore to return ; 
while Saint Edmund, king of the East Angles, having gloriously 
suffered martyrdom at the hands of the heathen, as above de- 
scribed, exchanged his earthly for a heavenly throne; and 
thenceforth his foes possessed his kingdom. The rest of the 
chiefs, too, who were left over, being in bondage either to the 
Scots or the Danes, did service for their lives and property. 
But the upper provinces, bordering on the kingdom of Scotland, 
unwillingly submitted to King Gregory. And thus, in those 
days, and for a long time after, the whole of England, whirled 
round through the various chances of fortune, wretchedly suc- 
cumbed to various lords — 

The Dane had part ; the greatest part the Scot ; 
And one small part fell to King Alfred's lot. 

But Alfred, says William, was at last driven to such a pitch of 
distress (scarcely three counties standing fast in their allegiance 


to him — namely, Huntingdonshire, Wiltshire, and Somerset- 
shire) that he sought refuge in a certain island called Adlingia 
(Ely) which, from its marshy situation, was hardly accessible. 
In the time of Gregory, the County of Flanders took its rise. 
Before that, it used to be ruled by the French king's foresters ; 
the first of whom was Lideric, the second Ingerlam, and the 
third Audacer ; and these, though they were not counts, were 
the rulers of Flanders under Pipin, Charles the Great, and 
Louis. Afterwards, Charles the Bald, who was mentioned 
above, gave Flanders to Baldwin, the son of Audacer, and his 
daughter Judith, for an inheritance. But this glorious King 
Gregory, after a vigorous reign of eighteen years, all but a few 
months, closed the last of his days at Donedoure, and lies buried 
in the island of lona. In the thirteenth year of Gregory, died 
the emperor Charles, and was, in a.d. 887, succeeded by 
Arnulph, who filled the imperial throne fifteen years. 


John Scotus, the philosopher — The UTivperor Arnulph, who was 
eaten up hy lice. 

In the time of this Gregory flourished John Scotus, a man, 
according to Helinandus, of penetrating genius, and honeyed 
eloquence. While the din of war was crashing around him, he 
crossed over into France, to Charles the Bald, where, after a 
thorough examination of sundiy books, he, at Charles's request, 
translated the Hierarchia of Dionysius the Areopagite, word for 
word, out of the Greek into Latin. He also composed a book 
which he entitled Peri physicon merismou, that is to say, O71 
the Division of Nature, very useful for solving the wearing-out 
study of certain indispensable questions. In after years, allured 
by King Alfred's munificence, he came to England ; and, shortly 
afterwards, suffered martyrdom at the monastery of Malmes- 
bury, being stabbed by the boys he taught — with their writing- 
styles, it is said. His illustrious memory is handed down by 
his tomb, on the left side of the altar, and by the verses of 
his epitaph : — 

" The holy sophist John here buried lies, 

In life endowed with wondrous wealth of lore. 
He earned, at last, by martyrdom, to rise 

To Christ, and reign with saints for evermore." 

The Emperor Arnulph — the date of whose reign was noted in 



the foregoing chapter — smote down by a terrible blow the 
Normans who were wasting Gaul, Lorraine, and Dardania (Dor- 
dogne ?), about Li^ge and Mentz ; and then began to cease the 
yoke of the Normans and Danes, who, for forty years, had laid 
France waste. This Arnulph, afterwards, languishing in a long 
sickness, was, in spite of all the physician's art, eaten up by 
lice. In the sixteenth year of Gregory died Guthrum the 
Dane, king of Northumbria and East Anglia, to whom Alfred 
had stood godfather, naming him Athelstan. He was succeeded 
by his son Kanald, and Sithric, one of his kinsmen. 


Accession of King Donald, son of Constantine — His Death. 

When the mourning for the death and burial of Gregory was 
ended, Donald, who was the son of the above Constantine, son 
of Kenneth the Great, obtaining the sovereignty of the king- 
dom, was crowned at Scone in the same year that Gregory died, 
that is to say, in a.d. 892, the sixth year of the emperor 
Arnulph. He reigned eleven years, with vigour indeed, but 
with huge and restless trouble, now in the parts of northern 
Scotland, now in those of England which had been lately con- 
quered ; lest at any time, having grown to pleasure and careless 
ease, he should ingloriously lose what his predecessor had won 
by his watchful prudence, and with great trouble. Eor 

'Tis no less praise to keep than to acquire. 

But the heathen of the Danish nation offered Donald — as they 
had, formerly, his predecessor Gregory — to enter into a treaty of 
peace with him against the English, so that these, being assailed 
on all sides by their combined strength, might the more easily 
be overcome. Both kings, however, utterly declined this, 
answering that it would never do for a Christian chief to afford 
help to unbelieving heathens, or be bound by any sworn treaty 
with them, against Catholics, even though his enemies. Finally, 
after some years, a certain Danish king of Northumbria and 
East Anglia — Gurmund — was, with his followers, baptized by 
King Alfred, and bound himself to the same by an oath. 
Nevertheless, he immediately afterwards, by his pressing en- 
treaties, obtained of Gregory, who was then still alive, that the 
treaty of fealty and friendship he had before desired, should 
be concluded. After Gurmund's death, moreover, when his son 
Eanald, and his kinsman, Sithric, his successors, kept on impor- 


tuning King Donald for a similar treaty engagement, he granted 
it quite willingly, although he undoubtedly knew they had, 
like Gurmund, already plighted their troth to Alfred. About 
the same time, also, while the king was making a stay in 
the south, some mischievous robbers began to disturb the 
country beyond the hills, by frequent secret murders and open 
rapine. In order, therefore, to put down their outrages, he sent 
out escorts of soldiers southwards in detachments ; and as soon 
as he had set foot in their borders, he shortly fell sick and died, 
almost suddenly, in the town of Forres — whether worn out by 
toil, or poisoned by the treachery of those villains, is uncertain. 
He was buried in the island of lona. May he rest in peace 
for ever, awaiting the last day ! In the tenth year of Donald, 
Alfred, king of the West Saxons, died, and was succeeded by 
his son Edward. In the eleventh, that is to say, the last, year 
of this reign, the emperor Arnulph died, and his son Louis 
began to reign. Louis, however, did not attain to the imperial 
crown. Ten years are allotted to him. With him the empire 
came to an end, as regards the posterity of Charles, owing to 
their own shortcomings. 


Accession of King Constantine, son of Heth the Wing-footed — He 
gives the Lordship of Cumbria to Donald's son, EugcniuSy his 
expected next heir. 

Constantine, son of Heth the Wing-footed, succeeded Donald 
in A.D. 903 — the first year of Louis — and reigned forty years, 
louring his reign, two English kings— the aforesaid Edward, to 
wit, and his illegitimate son Athelstan — who reigned in succes- 
sion, repeatedly warred against him : both because of the help 
he had afforded the Danes, and because he protected, with all 
his might, the natives of his Cumbrian territory, and other pos- 
sessions in England, who faithfully cleaved to him even until 
the battle of Brounyngfelde (Brunanburh). The kings of the 
Danish nation, indeed, more fickle than the wind, were united 
with him in the same sworn treaty, and show of friendship, as 
with his predecessors; but, remaining faithful scarcely two 
years, they were led away by the treacherous promises of 
Edward, and made a peace with him against the Scots, to their 
own hurt. Nor did the stipulations of this covenant hold long ; 
indeed, four years after, there sprang up some estrangement be- 
tween them— by what chance, is not certain ; but, it is believed, 


by Edward's wickedness, who made a hostile invasion of their 
territory, and wasted it with piteous slaughter for a whole 
month. They, on the other hand, driven by force of circum- 
stances, saw no hope of help anywhere but in again conciliating 
the Scots, and renewing the former friendly treaty with them, 
from fellowship with whom Edward's craft had lately made 
them withdraw. In order, therefore, to soften the settled 
hatred of Constantine towards them, they sent messengers, 
humbly begging pardon and peace, and promising by an oath 
never again, through fault of theirs, to break any treaty, if only 
he would be pleased to renew this one. So the messengers 
joyfully brouglit back word that all had been arranged accord- 
ing to their wishes, the king's wrath having been turned into 
pity. Now Constantine, in the sixteenth year of his reign, 
gave Eugenius, the son of Donald, his expected next heir, the 
lordship of the region of Cumbria to rule over, until he should, 
on Constantine's death, obtain the diadem of the kingdom ; and, 
on his being crowned king, his next heir was to succeed to that 
lordship ; and thus the lordship was in future, by this rule of 
succession, always to be transferred from the heir, immediately 
on his being crowned king, to his next successor. In the twenty- 
second year of this reign, Edward died, and was succeeded by his 
illegitimate son Athelstan, begotten of the daughter of Opilio ; 
his brother Edwin, who should, by rights, have reigned, having 
been set aside, and afterwards delivered over unto a wretched 
death ; for he was sent to sea alone, but for one man who ac- 
companied him, in a vessel without an oarsman, and rotten 
with age, and was drowned. But a certain chief, Alfred, being 
exasperated at what he saw done, speedily bound himself with 
King Constantine and the aforesaid Sithric, in a close and 
faithful alliance against Athelstan. In the eleventh year of 
Constantine, the emperor Louis died, and was succeeded by a 
certain Conrad, a German, who was seven years emperor; 
though he is not numbered with the emperors, as he lacked 
the imperial blessing. Conrad was succeeded by Henry, in 
A.J). 920, the eighteenth year of Constantine. He was emperor 
eighteen years ; but he is not reckoned either among the em- 
perors, as he also was not crowned by the Pope. 



Cmistantine — Woeful and cruel Battle of Brounyngfdd. 

When, however, Athelstan had heard rumours of the alliance 
above touched upon, he was moved beyond measure ; for he knew 
that the strength of his adversaries was increased, while his had 
diminished. So, on mature reflection, he began to think that it 
would be better to manage the matter in an underhand way, in 
secret, than openly to try the doubtful event of a battle. So 
secretly sending forth his tale-bearers, who craftily instilled de- 
ceit into Sitliric's ear, he cheated him into forgetting his former 
oath, and falsely marrying Athelstan's sister, though utterly 
against the wishes of his own sons. Whence it came to pass 
that he lived barely nine months after, having been, it is deemed, 
wickedly put to death. William relates that Sithric's life being 
cut short a year after, gave Athelstan occasion to join North- 
umbria to his dominions. Athelstan soon after laid siege to 
York ; and after urging the townsmen, now by j)rayers, now by 
threats, to surrender, and iu neither way speeding according to 
his wishes, he retired. But the Northumbrian and Cumbrian 
nations, having already been long straitly cemented with the 
Scots and Danes, as one nation, were anxious to be subject 
imto them rather than to the English. So, on Sithric being 
taken away from their midst, as above narrated, the North- 
umbrians willingly took his sons, Analaf and Godofrid, to be 
their chiefs ; and these, being straightway joined unto Constan- 
tine, made war upon Athelstan with their whole strength. In 
the thirty-sixth year of his reign, therefore, King Constantine, 
Analaf, and Godofrid, having gathered together an exceedingly 
large army, invaded the English territory to the south, wasting 
everything in their path, until they arrived in the place wliere 
Athelstan had pitched his tents, which is called Brounyngfelde. 
Athelstan's last battle, says William^ was with Sithric's son 
Analaf, and the Scottish king Constantine, who had crossed the 
Borders in the hope of seizing his kingdom. Athelstan pur- 
posely retreated, that he might conquer gloriously; and the 
assailants had already passed far into England, when suddenly, 
the columns and ranks of the two sides were mixed up together, 
and there was fought a most cruel battle, far more savage than 
any handed down in the writings of the ancients, or intnisted 
to the memory of men now-a-days. For there were slain, on 
the side of the victorious Athelstan, two chief leaders — Eldwyn 
and Ethelwyn — and two other leaders, as well as two bishops 


and many nobles. On the other side, the Prince of Deira, 
Eligenius, and three other princes, nine leaders ; and a count- 
less multitude of the rabble of either side. 


Loss inflicted upon the Scots hy this battle — Death of 
Constantine in the monastic garb. 

That was an unlucky day for the Scots : for all the domains 
they had conquered in the time of Gregory, or down to that 
time — which, moreover, they had held fifty-four years or more — 
were, in this day, lost to them by right of conquest. Constan- 
tine, king of the Scots, says William, fell there, a man of high 
spirit, and a vigorous old age ; five kings, etc. Various truth- 
ful chronicles, however, advance the opposite of this statement 
of Williams. For, after the fatal overthrow of this battle, he 
wielded the sceptre for four years ; and then he resigned the 
crown, and, serving God in the monastic garb at St. Andrews, 
was made Abbot of the Culdees, and lived there five years ; 
where he also died, and was buried. The monks of Hy (lona) 
then straightway dug up his bones, and took them away and 
buried them in the tomb of his fathers, in the chapel of the 
blessed Oran, in a.d. 947. It does not, therefore, hold good 
that he was slain in the battle of Brounyngfelde, as he outlived 
the battle nine years. In the Legend of the miracles of Saint 
John of Beverley, I have found the following passage, among 
others, about the aforesaid king Athelstan : — King Athelstan, 
on his way to fight against the Scots, visited the blessed John of 
Beverley, upon whose altar he placed a dagger as his bail, pro- 
mising that, if he came back victorious, he would redeem the 
dagger at an adequate price. And this promise he also fulfilled : 
for, during his struggle with the Scots, he asked God that 
through the prayers of Saint John, He should show him some 
evident sign, whereby those, in times present and to come, 
might know that the Scots were rightfully subjugated by the 
English. Whereupon the king struck with his sword a certain 
boulder of stone beside the castle of Dunbar ; and the stroke 
made, in the rock, a gash measuring an ell — as may be seen to 
this day. Such is the story there. But we have heard old 
hags tell some such fable — that it so happened that one of king 
Arthur's soldiers — Kay — had to fight with an enormous tom 
cat ; which, seeing the soldier prepared to fight with it obsti- 
nately, climbed to the top of a great rock ; and, coming down, 


after having made its claws wondrous sharp for the fight, it 
gashed the rock with sundry clefts and winding paths, beyond 
belief. Kay, however, they say, killed the torn cat. But 
the cleft of Athelstan's rock is not had in remembrance or 
known by the people, therefore, etc. In the very year of the 
battle, likewise, died Henry ; and his son Otho was thirty-six 
years emperor. In the third year of this emperor, a.d. 940, 
Athelstan died, and was succeeded by his brother Edmund, who 
held the kingdom nearly seven years. 


Accession of King Malcolm, son of Donald — The English King 
Edmund restm^es Cumbria to him. 

In A.D. 943 — the sixth year of Otho — king Constantine, in- 
spired by the grace of God's mercy, and understanding clearly 
that all earthly things were subject unto vanity, vacated the 
throne, as was seen above, and made room for Malcolm, son 
of Donald, to reign ; who accordingly reigned nine years. 
Furthermore, after the death of Athelstan, the inhabitants of all 
those lands which he had reduced to his sway by the battle of 
Brounyngfelde, were restored to their former lords, the Scots and 
Danes. The Northumbrians, indeed, determined to call back 
Analaf from Ireland, and set him up as king again. When, 
therefore, this came to Edmund's ears, being afraid that, per- 
chance, the people of Cumbria would cleave to the Scots, as the 
Northumbrians had cleaved to Analaf, he prefen-ed winning a 
friend in exchange for that country, to a cruel enemy's holding 
it, perhaps for ever, in spite of him. So, desirous of having king 
Malcolm's help against the Danes, and of conciliating his spirit 
into close sympathy with his own, he made over to him, for his 
oath of fealty, the whole of Cumbria, in possession for ever. 
At this time, says William, the Northumbrians, meditating a 
renewal of hostilities, broke the treaty they had struck with 
Athelstan, recalled Analaf from Ireland, and appointed him 
king over them. Edmund, on the other hand, deeming it 
wrong not to follow up the results of his brother's victory, led 
his troops against the turn-coat Northumbrians. Analaf, to 
test the king's disposition, offered to surrender. 33ut his savage 
mind did not long remain in this resolution : for he violated his 
oath, and angered the Lord— whereof he paid the penalty by 
being, the following year, driven into perpetual exile. The pro- 
vince which is called Cumberland, Edmund intrusted to Malcolm, 


king of the Scots, under fealty of an oath. Such are William's 
words. So, afterwards, it was straightway agreed between them, 
and resolved by the councils of both kings, that in future, for 
the sake of maintaining the peace of both countries. King Mal- 
colm's next heir, Indulf, and the heirs of the rest of the Scottish 
kings, for the time being, should do homage for Cumbria, and 
SAvear fealty to King Edmund and his successors on the English 
throne. Furthermore, neither of them was to harbour in his 
kingdom, in any way shelter, hold out help or favour to, or on 
any account admit to homage or fealty, that savage and faith- 
less nation of the north. And each king bound himself to the 
other, by the bond of a sworn covenant, steadfastly to observe all 
these things for the future. In the fourth year of Malcolm, 
Eang Edmund was stabbed with a dagger, in the midst of his 
soldiers, by a certain robber, whom he had one day reproved in 
court, for his misdeeds ; and, dying, was succeeded by his brother 


Death of Malcolm — Accession of King Indulf — He is slain hy 

the Danes. 

King Malcolm had peace with Edred, Indulf having first 
done homage to the latter for Cumbria. Moreover on the North- 
umbrians conspiring against him, and setting themselves up 
a new king, Edred, in the fifth year of this reign, supported 
by succours from King Malcolm, laid them waste with cruel 
slaughter. This, however, afterwards turned to the great loss of 
Malcolm's kingdom. For the Norwegians and Danes, who had 
formerly long been his friends and allies, were stirred up to 
molest him and his kingdom exceedingly ; and for a long time 
afterwards kept assailing the harbours, and the country around, 
on the seaboard. Now he was wont every year, unless hindered 
by more important matters, to traverse the provinces of his king- 
dom, executing judgment on robbers, and repressing the law- 
lessness of freebooters ; and, in proportion as in this he pleased 
the good and the sensible, did he displease the evildoers and the 
violators of the king's peace. At length, through a conspiracy 
of certain persons, and, as recorded in the Annates Chronicoe, 
by the treachery of the Moravienses, he was killed at Ulrim, 
after having completed nine years and three months on the 
throne — and was buried with his fathers in the island of lona. 
Malcolm was succeeded by Indulf, son of Constantine, son of 


Heth the Wing-footed — who reigned an equal number of years, 
and began to reign in a.d. 952, the fifteenth year of Otho I. 
To the Lordship of Cumbria, on the coronation of Indulf, suc- 
ceeded Duff, son of King Malcolm, after having taken the usual 
oath of fealty to King Edred. The third year after, that is to 
say, the fourth of Indulf, King Edred died, and was succeeded 
by Edmund's son, Edwy, an indolent and useless man, and 
therefore nearly deserted by his followers, and most others. At 
that time, a rumour was spread of the return of the Danes and 
Noricans (Northmen), and temfied the islanders beyond mea- 
sure — for the Scots were no less hated by them than the English. 
Nor had the islanders long to wait : for, the next year, in the 
spring season, what they feared came to pass. The enemy re- 
turn ing with a fleet of fifty ships, repeatedly wasted, with cruel 
jDJracy] now the southern, now the northern tracts of the country, 
according as they were driven by the force of the winds ; and 
while the king strove to come upon them in the north, popular 
rumour noised it abroad that they were wasting the south. 
At length, while they happened, one day, to be scattered by 
companies, laying the country waste near a place called Collyn, 
the king stationed an ambuscade under cover, not far from the 
coast ; for he happened, by mere chance, to be there at that 
time, with a few followers — but would that he had not been 1 
So while the spoilers were roving about, scattered by com- 
panies throughout the fields and towns, he rushed impetuously 
upon them with shouts, slew a great number, and forced the 
rest to have recourse to flight. Finally he, high-spirited as he 
was, having unfortunately thrown away his weapons, so that 
he might pursue the runaways more swiftly, was struck in the 
head by a dart out of one of the ships, and died that same 
night. His body was taken away to Columba's island (lona), 
with such honour as was meet, and buried with his forefathers 
in the customary tomb of the kings. 


Accession of King Dttff— After his death, his body is hidden 
under a bridge; and n^t a ray of sunlight shines on the king- 
dom until it is found. 

After the king's funeral had duly taken place, he was suc- 
ceeded, in A.D. 961 — the twenty-fourth year of the above Otho 
— by Duff, the son of King Malcolm, who reigned four years 
and six months. He was a man of dove-like simplicity towards 


those who loved quiet and peace ; but a cruel, terrible, and bloody- 
avenger towards rebels, plunderers, and thieves. He passed the 
years of his reign at peace with foreign nations, though the in- 
habitants of the north of his kingdom were molested by plun- 
derers of their own kin, whose wickedness he had before 
repeatedly quelled by the rigour of the law. In the fifth year 
of his reign, therefore, being desirous of reducing those districts 
to order, he went thither with many followers, and tarried 
awhile at the town of Forres, in Moray, punishing divers evil- 
doers. Now, when he had as usual sent forth his columns and 
companies to search the wilds of mountain and wood, keeping 
but few men with him, he told off some of his more intimate 
followers as his body-guards and watchmen by day and night ; 
but these, as if they had nothing to fear, spent their time 
in games, plays, and feasting, never thinking about the king. 
This did not escape the notice of those wicked robbers, who, 
seizing an hour at the dead of night, entered the king's bed- 
chamber, which had not been carefully bolted, and secretly 
snatched him away, while reposing in bed, with only one 
servant of the bedchamber; and dragging him with them 
through their secret haunts, they slew him. They then put 
the body of the murdered king into a ditch under the shadow 
of a certain bridge near Kinloss, and covered it lightly with 
green turf, without leaving any trace at all of blood. But the 
wonder was that, from that hour forwards, until it was found, 
no ray of sunlight gleamed within the whole kingdom — nay, as 
long as it lay hidden under the bridge, continual darkness 
miraculously shrouded the whole land, to the amazement of all. 
But as soon as the body was afterwards found, the sun shone 
forth more brightly, it seemed, than ever, to reveal the crime 
of the traitors. His body was then put into a coffin, embalmed 
with aromatic spices, and taken to the island of lona, to be 
there honourably buried. 


Accession of King Culen — His Death — Fable given in the 
English Chronicles. 

Culen, son of King Tndulf, was set up as king, in a.d. 965, 
— the twenty-eighth year of Otho — and, like his predecessor, 
reigned four years and six months. He was useless and slack 
in the government of the kingdom ; and nothing kingly or 
worthy of remembrance was done in his days. For, spuming 



the advice of men of sense, he cleaved in all things to the paths 
of the young : being sore given to violating maids ; a lustful 
adulterer with the wives of nobles and private persons ; in many 
things, an imitator of Edwy, king of the English, who was just 
dead, and who, according to William, on the very day he was 
consecrated king, burst suddenly from the midst of a full 
assembly of the nobles, who were deliberating on weighty and 
urgent matters of state, and darted wantonly into his chamber, 
to sink into the arms of a harlot. But Culen, forasmuch as 
he gave up his whole mind continually to shameful vices of 
this kind, and could not be reclaimed therefrom by the ex- 
hortations of any of the chiefs or clergy, provoked the indig- 
nation of all the inhabitants against him. Meanwhile, among 
other most heinous deeds of his, he snatched away, against 
her will, and violated, the lovely daughter of a certain chief, 
named Eadhard, who would not, of his own accord, betray 
her to him; on account of which he was shortly afterwards 
slain by the father, to the great joy of many, and the grief of 
very few. Nevertheless, they took away his body, and buried 
it with the other kings in the island of lona. A certain wonder 
which formerly happened to the Scots, I should have described 
under the reign of Gregory ; but, having hitherto — I will confess 
— left it out by an oversight, I will insert it here, word for word, 
as it is described in a certain legend. Some little time after 
A.D. 883, the Scots gathered together a countless host to fight 
against the king of Northumbria, and among the rest of their 
cruel misdeeds attacked and plundered the church of Lindis- 
farne, and infringed the privileges of Saint Cuthbert ; where- 
upon the earth suddenly opened and swallowed them up, so 
that they vanished in a moment. For when it was morning, 
the king and his men charged the enemy ; but — strange as it 
may seem — of those men whom they had just seen hurling 
javelins at them, straightway, in that same moment, never a 
one did they find. For — as Cuthbert, the man of God, had 
foretold to the king, in the spirit — the earth had swallowed 
them all up alive before their eyes. But why should a historian 
ply his pen in such apocryphal tales, in which every man of 
sense refuses to pub faith ? 



Accession of Kenneth, son of Malcolm — lowers Disputes — Un- 
steadiness in the Eule of Succession of the Umperors, as well 
as of Kings. 

CuLEN was succeeded, in a.d. 970— the thirty-third year of 
the Otho so often mentioned — by Kenneth, the son of Malcolm, 
and brother of King Duff — a brave and prudent man, — the second 
of that name since the monarchy was established. He reigned, 
in peace and happiness, twenty- four years and nine months. 
During the whole time of his reign, he and the English kings, 
his contemporaries, Edgar and his two sons — the blessed martyr 
Edward, to wit, and Ethelred — mutually esteeming one another, 
faithfully preserved the fellowship of the most steadfast peace 
and friendship. As soon as Kenneth was crowned, Edgar will- 
ingly received Malcolm, the son of Duff, as prince of Cumbria, 
under the usual oath of fealty — for, had he lived, he would have 
been the next to succeed his father. This covenant of mutual 
peace and friendship between the kings and the countries (first 
happily entered into by Malcolm, king of the Scots, and Edmund, 
king of the English) lasted, without any noisy wrangle, unbroken 
and continuously for one hundred and twenty years, or more — 
even until William the Bastard invaded England, and took it. 
Eor Edgar was a king most fortunate, peaceful, open-handed, 
and imparting his bounty to neighbouring kings and chiefs ; 
and no wonder — seeing that he did not depart from the admoni- 
tions of his most holy teacher as well as governor, Dunstan, 
In the fifth year of King Kenneth died Otho I., and was suc- 
ceeded on the imperial throne by his son Otho ii., who held it 
ten years. In these days — and previously, as well as long after- 
w^ards — a great many difficulties began to crop up in sundry 
parts of the world, with reference to the unsteadiness in the 
rule of succession of kings and chiefs. For, in the fifth year 
of the reign of this Otho I. — as we read in the Speculum 
Historiale — such a question of succession arose among the chiefs 
of the empire : whether, that is to say, while their grandfathers 
were still surviving, the grandsons should inherit after their 
father's death, or whether, being disinherited, the inheritance 
should revert to the father's brothers. Otho, indeed, and all 
the chiefs decided that the finding out of the truth should be 
intrusted to trial by combat. The victory went to those who 
said that the sons of brothers should succeed their fathers. 
In the fifteenth year of King Kenneth died Otho li. ; after 


whose death, there likewise arose a dissension among the 
princes of the empire, about setting up an emperor in his stead. 
Some contended that the imperial throne should go to his 
son Otho ; others wished to pass it on to Duke Henry, brother 
to Otho I. Now this Henry had factiously kidnapped the boy 
Otho, and kept him in custody ; but the chiefs wrested him 
out of his hands, and raised him to the throne ; and he reigned 
nineteen years. In France, likewise, on the death of King 
Louis, the French wished to pass on the kingdom to Duke 
Charles, brother of King Lothaire, and uncle to Louis him- 
self; but while he was referring the matter to the Council, the 
kingdom was usurped by Hugh, sou of Hugh, Count of Paris, 
and Hawyde, sister of Otho i. 


Kenneth — Novel Change in the Ride of Succession of the Emperors, 
and of the Kings of Scotland. 

To the end, moreover, that the dangers involved in the suc- 
session of the emperors might be avoided, the chiefs of the 
empire laid down, by unanimous consent, that, after the death 
of that Otho III., who was then reigning, and sitting as presi- 
dent at that Council, no one, in whatever degree of blood-rela- 
tionship or kinship he might be related to the emperor, should 
thenceforth presume to mount the imperial throne, unless elected 
by set officers of the empire. These officers are seven, namely, 
three chancellors — the one at Mentz, Chancellor of Germany ; 
the one at Treves, Chancellor of Gaul; the one at Cologne, 
Chancellor of Italy ; the Marquess of Brandeburgh, Chamber- 
lain; the Palatine, Steward; the Duke of Saxony, Sword- 
bearer; the King of Bohemia, Cup-bearer. Whence this 
rhyme : 

" Mentz, Treves, Cologne, three Chancellors afford ; 
Palatine, Steward ; Duke that bears the sword ; 
The Marquess, Chamberlain ; Bohemia's king. 
That bears the cup ; to these, for aye, shall cling 
The right to constitute a sovereign lord." 

-^^aving heard rumours of these changes in the rule of succes- 
sion. King Kenneth wished that the law of succession of the an- 
cient kings of his country — who had hitherto reigned in entangled 
disorder — should be abolished ; and that, after each king, his off- 
spring of legitimate birth should, in preference to the rest, be 
decked with the kingly diadem. He himself had an illustrious 


son, named Malcolm ; and he proposed to use every endeavour 
to have the throne assigned to him. He therefore appointed, 
with the consent of all his chiefs, with the exception of a few 
supporters of the old rule of succession, that, thenceforth every 
king, on his death, should be succeeded by his son or his daugh- 
ter, his nephew or his niece ; or by his brother or sister, in the 
collateral line ; or, in short, by whoever was the nearest survivor 
in blood to the deceased king, surviving him — even though it 
i were a babe a day old ; for it is said, " A king's age consists in 
jhis subjects' faith;" and no law contrary to this has since pre- 
j vailed. In the sixth year of Kenneth, Edgar, king of England, 
died, and was succeeded by his son. Saint Edward, who reigned 
three years and a half, and was crowned with martyrdom: 
being stabbed with a dagger, through the treachery of his step- 
mother Elfrida. After him, his brother Ethelred obtained the 
kingdom, and — as William puts it — besieged, rather than ruled, 
it, for thirty-seven years. The course of his life, he says, is 
asserted to have been fierce in the beginning, wretched in the 
middle, and shameful in the end. Dunstan, indeed, had fore- 
told his worthlessness. Eor when he was plunging the little 
child into the baptismal font, it defiled the sacrament with the 
discharge of its belly ; at which Dunstan, being troubled, said, 
" By God and his mother ! this will be a sorry fellow." 


Baldred, Abbot of RivaulXy recites the Sermon of Edgar y King of 
the English, against those who lead had lives in the Church 
of God. 


Sermon continued, 


Strange Instrument of Treason, to deceive King Kenneth — 

A wily Woman's Flattery, p^ ski bi'>"^jj !'>> ^-« f-^^- 

But the chiefs who favoured the other rule of succession, '^ ^-^;^ 
hated King Kenneth and his son, asserting that they were now P* '^^ 
deprived of the accustomed ancient title to the succession. The 
principal of these were Constantine the Bald, son of King Culen, 
md Gryme, son of Kenneth, son of King Duff; and, plotting 


unceasingly the death of the king and his son, they at length 
found accomplices for the perpetration of such a crime. The 
daughter of Cruchne, Earl of Angus, who was named Finele, 
consented unto their deeds and design, her only son having 
formerly been ordered to be put to death by the king at Dun- 
synane, whether by the severity of the law, or for what he had 
done, or in some other way, I know not. This wily woman, | 
therefore, ardently longing for the king's death, caused to be made, I 
in an out-of-the-way little cottage, a kind of trap, such as had 
never before been seen. For the trap had, attached to it on all 
sides, crossbows always kept bent by their several strings, and 
fitted with very sharp arrows ; and in the middle thereof stood a 
statue, fashioned like a boy, and cunningly attached to the cross- 
bows ; so that if any one were to touch it, and move it ever so 
little, the bowstrings of the crossbows would suddenly give way, 
and the arrows would straightway be shot forth, and pierce him 
through. Having thus completed the preparations for perpetrat- 
ing the crime, the wretched woman, always presenting a cheerful 
countenance to the king, at length beguiled him by flattery and 
treacherous words. The king went forth one day, with a few 
companions, into the woods, at no great distance from his own 
abode, to hunt ; and while pursuing beasts hither and thither 
with his dogs, as he hunted, he happened by chance to put up 
hard by the town of Fettercairn, where the traitress lived. She 
saw him ; and, falling on her knees, she besought him with great 
importunity to come into her house — " otherwise," said she, " I 
shall, without fail, think myself mistrusted by your Majesty's 
Grace. But God knows — and thou, my king, shalt soon know 
— that, although the tattling of the spiteful may repeat many a 
lie about me, I have always been faithful to thee — and shall be, 
as long as I live. For, what thou not long ago didst to my 
most wretched son, I know right well, was justly done, and not 
without cause ;" and tripping up to the king, she whispered in 
his ear, saying : — " When thou be come with me, I will explain 
to thee, my lord, who are the accomplices of that accursed son 
of mine, and the manner of their treachery. For they hoped to 
get me to join them in their conspiracy to deceive thee ; but 1 
straightway refused to countenance their heinous treachery 
Nevertheless, they forced me to lay my hand on the Gospel 
and swear never to betray their secret; but, though I pro- 
mised them this on my oath, still I should be most false anc 
traitorous towards thee, my lord king — to whom, above al' 
others, steadfast and loyal fealty is due — were I to conceal the 
danger to thy person. For who knows not that no swori 
covenant holds good against the safety of the king's majesty V 



Kenneth's Death hy Treachery — His son Malcolm 'promoted to the. 
Lordship of Cumbria. 

Thus that crafty woman cunningly misled the king's mind, 
and drew him, alas ! too ready of belief, into the house with 
her, everything speeding her design. Why say more ? Why 
dwell on so sad a tale ? After the king had alighted from 
horseback, she took his hand, and quickly led him, alone, to 
the house where the trap was concealed. After she had shut 
the door behind them, as if with the view of revealing the 
secrets of the traitors, as she had promised, she showed him the 
statue, which was the lever of the whole trap. He naturally 
asked what that statue had to do with him ; whereupon she 
answered, smiling — "If the top of the head of this statue, 
which thou seest, my lord king, be touched and moved, a 
marvellous and pleasant jest comes of it." So, unconscious of 
hidden treachery, he gently, with his hand, drew towards him 
the head of the machine, thus letting go the levers and handles 
of the crossbows; and immediately he was shot through by 
arrows sped from all sides, and fell without uttering another 
word. The traitress then went hurriedly out by the back-door, 
and hid herself in the shades of the forest for the time ; but, a 
little after, she safely reached her abettors. The king's com- 
panions, however, after having long awaited his return from the 
house, wondered why he delayed there. At last, having stood 
before the gate, and knocked persistently at the door, and 
hearing nothing, they furiously broke it open ; and when they 
found that he had been murdered, they raised a great outcry, 
and ran about in all directions, looking for the guilty woman 
— but in vain : they found her not ; and, not knowing what to 
do, they consumed the town with fire, and reduced it to ashes. 
Then, taking with them the king's blood-stained body, they 
shortly afterwards buried it with his fathers in lona, as was 
the custom with the kings. About the twentieth year of this 
Kenneth, after he had established the statutes respecting the 
succession, on the death of Malcolm, the son of Duff, Prince of 
Cumb ria, he wished to make his own son, Malcolm, prince of 
thatTordship ; so he sent him to Ethelred, king of the English, 
who willingly admitted him, under the conditions above 
touched upon — of fealty and homage. 

168 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Accession of the Kings Constantine the Bald, and Chyme y 
son of Kenneth, 

The next day after the king's death, Constantine the Bald, 
son of Culen — of whom mention was made above — came with 
his supporters, and, despising the State ordinance, usurped the 
throne ; and, backed up by a few of the nobles, he placed the 
crown of the kingdom on his own head, in a.d. 994 — the 
eleventh year of Otho iii. Thereupon there followed a long- 
lasting division among the inhabitants, with massacres of the 
populace, and troubling of the clergy. Moreover, there befell 
the most pitiful slaughter of the great, and even of kings, and 
much shedding of innocent blood ; and, briefly to sum up, the 
final overthrow of the kingdom, as well as of the whole Scot- 
tish race, would have been brought to pass — as many thought 
it had — if God's pitiful mercy had not deigned to take pity 
betimes on his people, in spite of their many sins. Meanwhile, 
these accursed calamities lasted nine years ; and the ruin was 
the greater, seeing that no one had the least idea which of 
the competitors rather to obey — whether Constantine, who was 
crowned, or Malcolm, who had the law on his side. Constan- 
tine, however, held the kingdom — though not in peace — for a 
year and a half after he had usurped it. For he was continually 
harassed by Malcolm, and his illegitimate uncle, named Kenneth, 
a soldier of known prowess, who was his unwearied persecutor, 
and strove with his whole might to kill him, above all others. 
Nor did Kenneth abandon his purpose, until, one day, they met 
one another in Laudonia (Lothian), by the banks of the river 
Almond ; and, engaging in battle, after great slaughter on either 
side, both the leaders were killed. It is, however, said that 
Kenneth had the upper hand. In the meantime, Constantine's 
guards fled to his colleague Gryme, the son of Kenneth, son of 
Duff — for he himself was, with Constantine, the chief supporter 
of the old rule of succession —and Gryme, being joined by those 
who wished him well; lost no time in taking upon him the 
badges of kingship, by the same right as his predecessor, in a.d. 
996 — the thirteenth year of the emperor Otho in. ; and he 
reigned eight years and three months. Now, Malcolm, as luck 
would have it, had gone to Cumbria a little before this struggle ; 
and, after abiding there a fortnight, he heard from those who 
had been present at the fight just mentioned, that his uncle and 
the rest of his faithful friends had been slain, and the kingdom 


usurped. So he came back at once, and having soon gathered 
together some reinforcements, kept troubling Gryme (who had 
then been set up as king), and all who favoured his cause, with 
all manner of annoyances. The latter, however, withstood him 
with all his might, and meted out the most grievous loss upon 
him and his, with the self-same measure, and with no less 
cruelty; and thus the wretched and helpless multitude long 
lay crushed and oppressed by them both. 


The above-mentioned Prince of Cumbria, Malcolm^ son of Kenneth, 
will not, on behalf of the Cumbrians, 'pay tribute to the Danes^ 
as the rest of the inhabitants of England do. 

In those days, likewise, and a little before, the English, in 
return for peace, gave the Danes tribute — first 10,000, next 
16,000, soon after 24,000, and lastly, 30,000 pounds. So King 
Ethelred wrote, by messenger, to the aforesaid Malcolm, prince 
of Cumbria, commanding him to compel his Cumbrians to pay 
the tribute, as the rest of the inhabitants did. He straightway 
wrote back, disclaiming that his subjects owed any other tax 
than to be always ready, at the king's edict, to fight with the 
rest, whensoever he pleased. For it was more seemly — he said 
— and far better, to defend one's liberty with the sword, like a 
man, than with gold. The king, therefore, carried off a great 
deal of plunder from Cumbria because of this, and, inasmuch 
as the prince, in spite of the oath of allegiance he owed to him, 
sided with the Danes — for so the king asserted in his wrath. 
Afterwards, however, they soon came to a good understanding in 
all respects, and were at one, for the future, in steadfast peace. 
This plundering of Cumbria by King Ethelred took place in 
A.D. 1000, the fifth year of King Gryme. But, in the seventh 
year of this reign, this Ethelred, through the advice of the 
treacherous leader Edric, ordered that all the Danes, throughout 
all England, should be slain in one day — that of Saint Bricius, 
to wit — and among them, a noble lady, Gunyldis, sister of 
Swane, king of the Dacians (Danes). On this account, Swane, 
maddened with rage, afterwards came to England, and landed 
at Sandwyk (Sandwich) ; and, in revenge for so great a crime, 
he destroyed it all by rapine and slaughter beyond all example, 
stripping the inhabitants of their substance, and carrying it off, 
together with hostages, to his ships — not like a lord — according 
to William — but like a most savage tyrant. In the eighth year 


of King Gryme, Otho iii. was succeeded by Henry, the first 
elected emperor. We have already treated of this election in 
Chapter xxvii. (xxviii.) Henry was twenty-two years emperor. 
He gave his sister Gilla to wife to the Hungarian king, Salamon, 
who had hitherto been given over unto idolatry ; but, by his 
wife's exhortations, he and his whole nation embraced Christi- 
anity ; and, at his baptism, he changed his name, and was called 
Stephen. His merits are to this day commended throughout 
Hungary for great and glorious miracles. 


Condition of the English, as set forth in the Polychronicon — , 
A certain Prophecy. 

At the time of the aforesaid Ethelred's coronation, Saint 
Duustan, in the spirit of prophecy, foretold these evils, which 
soon came upon the English; for, according to William, he 
said unto the king : — " Since thou hast aspired to the kingdom 
through the death of thy brother, hear the word of the Lord. 
Thus saith the Lord God : The sin of thine infamous mother, 
and of the men who had a share in her base design, shall not 
be washed out but by much blood of the wretched inhabitants ; 
and there shall come upon the Anglic nation such evils 
as it hath not suffered from the time it came into England 
until then." The Polychronicon, Book i., last chapter, has 
the following passage, on the state of the English: — Pope 
Eugenius has said that English men would be equal to any- 
thing they chose to undertake, were it not for a disposition 
to trifle ; and, as Hannibal declared that the Romans could not 
be vanquished save on their own ground, so the English nation 
is invincible abroad, but may easily be overcome at home. In 
another passage in that work, we read : — That nation loathes 
what belongs to it, blames its own things, and praises other 
men's ; is hardly ever content with the state of its circumstances ; 
and is eager to show off in itself those qualities which are be- 
coming in others. Nay, more : some of them, going the round 
of every state of life, belong to none ; trying every condition, 
remain in none. For, in bearing, they are players ; in address, 
fiddlers; gluttons "in feeding; hucksterslmnoMiness'; swaggerers 
in dress ; like Argus for gain ; like Daedalus in wariness ; like 
Sardanapalus in bed ; puppets at church ; thunderers in the 
courts ; while, throughout all the English-born people, such 
a variety of dress and apparel of all shapes has grown into 


use, that you cannot tell the sex of any one person. Touch- 
ing this, a certain holy anchorite, in the earlier days of King 
Ethelred, prophesied on this wise — as we see in the sixth book 
of Henry's work : — The English, forasmuch as they are given to 
treachery, drunkenness, and neglect of the house of God, shall be 
trampled under foot, first, of the Danes — then, of the Normans 
— and thirdly, of the Scots, whom they hold beneath contempt. 
And of these three plague-spots, two, those of treachery and 
gluttony, to wit, have been found out, first by the Danes, and 
secondly by the Normans; but the third, that of neglecting 
the house of God — still remains to be found out by the Scots. 


Source of the Calamities brought upon the English hy the Danes, 
who, according to William, repeatedly lay England waste in 
all directions. 

I WILL now, as a warning to my hearers or readers in time to 
come, briefly show by these passages the source of the calami- 
ties which, as above described, were brought upon the English 
by the Danes. In the early English Church, says the Tabula 
Londonice, the religious life throve most remarkably : insomuch 
that kings and queens, chiefs and leaders, earls and barons, 
and rulers of the churches, had a yearning after the kingdom 
of heaven kindled within them, and outvied each other in em- 
bracing monkhood, voluntary exile, or the hermit's life ; and, 
leaving all, followed the Lord. But, in course of time, all virtue 
so withered away from among them, that no nation, it seemed, 
could match them in treachery and guile. Nor was anything 
so hateful to them as piety and justice ; nor cared they for any- 
thing so much as wars more than civil, and the shedding of 
innocent blood. Almighty God, therefore, sent heathen and 
most cruel nations, like swarms of bees, who spared neither 
woman's sex nor the age of the little ones — the Danes, to wit, 
and the Norwegians, the Goths and Swedes, the Vandals and 
Frisians, who, from the first years of King Ethelwlf, down to 
the arrival of the Normans — for about two hundred and thirty 
years, destroyed this sinful land from sea to sea, both man and 
beast. And thus repeatedly invading England on all sides, they 
did their best not only to subdue the country and take posses- 
sion of it, but also to plunder and' destroy it. But, if the Eng- 
lish sometimes got the upper hand, it profited them nothing ; 
for a larger fleet and army would unexpectedly and suddenly 

172 . JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

arrive elsewhere. Of a truth, while the English kings would be 
wending towards the east coast of the kingdom, to fight against 
them, before the troops approached the enemy, a messenger would 
be sure to come flying towards them, saying, " Whither away, 
king ? Behold ! even now a countless heathen fleet have seized 
the shores of thy kingdom, on the south; and spoiling the 
towns and villages with the sword, have burned down with fire 
everything in their way." Such rumours, moreover, coming 
upon them from the east, west, or north, as well, robbed the 
natives of all hope of safety ; and thus the kings, with their 
hearts exposed to so many evils and sinister rumours, would 
divide their forces and enter upon a doubtful struggle against 
these hostile inroads. Hence it happened that sometimes the 
inhabitants were beaten, and sometimes their enemies — which 
suggested these lines : — 

" In English story many a plague is seen ; 
England bears witness to the captive's woe. 
War, pride, fraud, rapine — these the scourge have been 
Wherewith the stranger's hand laid England low." 


King Gryme slain hy the above-mentioned Malcolm^ son of 

But while the quarrel lasted between Malcolm, son of Ken- 
neth — above referred to — and King Gryme, who could fully 
unfold the losses of the inhabitants of the kingdom, continued 
through eight years ? The people, however, showed more favour 
to the cause of Malcolm than to that of the king ; for, in all 
knightly deeds, both mimic and in earnest, the former was second 
renown to hardly any one in the kingdom. Historical annals 
inform us that he was skilled in brandishing the sword and 
hurling the spear, and could bear hunger, thirst, cold, and 
watching, wonderfully long. Roaming, therefore, very often 
through various districts of the kingdom, and carefully guard- 
ing himself against being waylaid by Gryme, he cemented to 
himself the hearts of many of the aristocracy, and secretly 
bound them by an oath of fealty to him. Moreover, the com- 
mon people, who knew him to be endowed with many good 
qualities, and distinguished for his stalwart and shapely figure, 
began, with one accord, to extol his name and fame with 
praises, and declared, even openly, that he was more worthy of the 
kingship than the rest of men, seeing that he was the strongest. 


Thus, strengthened by the favour of the people, and at the 
instigation of some of the chiefs, he forthwith sent to the 
king, by messenger, bidding him choose one of two things — 
either that he should vacate the throne, and lay down the crown, 
which he had, until then, like his predecessor, held unjustly, or 
that they two should, either accompanied by their warrior hosts, 
or man to man, if he liked, fight in the open field, and submit 
it to the just verdict of God, which of them ought, in all lawful- 
ness, to be subject unto the other. Gryme was very indignant 
at this ; for he thought that Malcolm could not withstand him. 
So, with such of his men as he could trust, he at once set out 
to give him battle ; while Malcolm, on the other hand, with a 
similar object in view, boldly advanced to meet him, with a 
small but picked band, and reached a field named Auchnebard — 
a meet place for a battle. There the two armies engaged one 
another, and fought a cruel battle, considering their numbers. At 
length the king was mortally wounded, while fighting bravely, 
and was straightway led out of the battle by his men ; and he died 
the same night. But when the rest of his party saw this, they all 
fled ; and thus Malcolm was so fortunate as to gain the victory 
and the kingdom. The day after, however, when he got sure 
information of the king's death, he bade his own servants take 
the body away, without fear, and bury, it in the sepulchre of the 
kings in the island of lona. 


Accession of this King Malcolm — His daughter Beatrice marries 
CrynynCy Abthane of DuL 

Now after Malcolm had gained the victory, as already de- 
scribed, he did not at once take upon himself the name of king ; 
but, having summoned together the chiefs of the kingdom, he . 
humbly requested them to give him the crown, if the Idiws^zkc^i^'^^ 
allowed it — not otherwise. They, for their part, fully ratified 
the law of the royal succession which had been made in his 
father's days ; and at once appointed him king, crowned with 
the diadem of the kingdom. He began to reign in a.d. 1004 — 
the second year of the oft-mentioned emperor Henry ; and he 
reigned in happiness thirty years, a brave warrior, and the con- 
queror of every neighbouring nation which ventured to put his 
daring to the test. We read that he had no offspring but an 
only daughter, named Beatrice, who married Crynyne, Abthane 
of I)ul, and Steward of the Isles, a man of great vigour and 


power. In some annals, by a blunder of the writer, this man 
is called Crynyne, Abbot of Dul. Abthane of Dul, should 
properly have been written. Abthane is derived from abhas^ 
which means father , or lord, and thana which means answering, 
or numbering ; so that abthane is the superior of the thanes, or 
their lord under the king ; to whom they are held yearly re- 
sponsible for their farms and the rents due to their lord the 
king. Thus the Abthane has to keep the account of the king's 
rents, and moneys in his treasury, performing, as it were, the 
duties of housekeeper or chamberlain. Now this Abthane 
begat, of his wife, a son, named Duncan ; who afterwards, on his 
grandfather's death, succeeded him on the throne, as will be 
seen below. But, to resume : this Malcolm, by God's favour, 
triumphed everywhere with such glorious victories over his 
vanquished foes, that, in all the writings whei;ein he is men- 
tioned, he is always called by the title of " the most victorious 
king." On three occasions_did he, by a lucky chance, outwit 
and defeat the Danish} piratesj who often sallied forth on shore 
from their ships, and ravage^Tne parts of the kingdom bordering 
on the sea ; and once these were routed by the natives, though 
he was not there. Othred, likewise an English earl, but subject 
to the Danes, endeavoured to plunder Cumbria — though I know 
not what was the cause .of the hostilities which broke out be- 
tween them. But Malcolm recovered the plunder, and overcame 
him in a hard-fought battle near Burgum (Burgie). About the 
first few days after his coronation, a Norwegian army arrived, 
with a large fleet, in the north, and made a long stay there, 
stripping the country. But it was destroyed by him in a night 
attack ; so that few save the sailors escaped that disastrous 
battle, to bring the tidings to the rest at home. He only lost 
thirty of his men. Thus the land was freed from their inroads 
for a long while after this battle. A victory like this fell, of 
old, to the lot of Cneius Pompey, who had been intrusted, by 
the Senate, with the prosecution of a war against Mithridates, 
king of Lesser Armenia. Pompey, says Eutropiits, vanquislied 
him in a night attack, broke up his camp, and killed 40,000 of 
his men, losing only twenty men and two centurions of his 
own army. 



Malcolm — Foundation of a Bishopric at Marthillach, now 
transferred to Aberdeen. 

Once, while the Danes and Northumbrians, who were then 
united as one people, were laying Cumbria waste, King Malcolm, 
being apprised of their arrival by his grandson Duncan, met 
them, and swept down great part of their army with woeful 
slaughter. For he had, before this, given Cumbria to Duncan, 
though without having got King Ethelred's consent, because 
one could not safely get across the kingdom to him, as well for 
fear of the Danes — who wandered through the country at will, 
so that they carried off plunder to their ships from a distance 
of fifty miles, without dread of being waylaid by the inhabi- 
tants — as on account of the treachery of the natives, who, accord- 
ing to William, did not remain in their allegiance, even towards 
their king. If, says William, driven by sore need, the king 
and the leaders had decided on some secret and useful measure, 
it was immediately reported to the Danes by traitors, the most 
infamous of whom was Edric, a man whom the king had set over 
the earldom of the Mercians. He was one of the dregs of man- 
kind, and a disgrace to the English ; a wily knave, an artful dis- 
sembler, and ready to feign anything. For he was wont to hound 
out the king's designs in the character of a faithful friend, and 
spread them abroad like a traitor ; and often, when sent to the 
enemy to mediate for peace, he would kindle war. In the 
seventh year of his reign, Malcolm, thinking over the manifold 
blessings continually bestowed upon him by God, pondered 
anxiously in his nund what he should give Him in return. At 
length, the grace of the Holy Ghost working within him, he 
set his heart upon increasing the worship of God ; so he estab- 
lished a new episcopal see at Marthillach (Mortlach), not 
far from the spot where he had overcome the Norwegians, and 
gained the victory; and endowed it with churches, and the 
rents of many estates. He desired to extend the territory of 
this diocese, so as to make it reach from the stream or river 
called the Dee to the river Spey. To this see, a holy man, and 
one worthy the office of bishop, named Beyn, was, at the instance 
of the king, appointed, as fir st bisho p, by uUl' loi'lj^ the pope 
Benedict. In the thirteenth year of this reign died King Ethel- 
red — a man, says William, born to woes and toil — and was suc- 
ceeded by his son Edmund Ironside, who was begotten of the 
daughter of Earl Thoret, and wickedly slain, two years after, 


by the treachery of the above-named traitor, Edric. We shall 
speak of this Edmund at greater length in the following Book. 
After him, Cnuto the Dane, son of Swane, was straightway 
chosen king by the whole of England, as the true heirs had, in 
the meantime, been driven out by the treachery of the aforesaid 
traitor — as the following Book will also show forth. In the 
twenty-second year, a.d. 1025, the first elected emperor, Henry, 
died, and was succeeded by Conrad ii., who was fifteen years 
emperor. In the seventh year of Conrad, King Cnuto went on 
a pilgrimage to Kome ; and having there redeemed his sins by 
alms, he returned to England some time afterwards. 


Stn(,ggle of King Malcolm for Cumbria with Cnuto the Dane, 
then King of England — His Death. 

Duncan, however, though summoned again and again by 
Cnuto, king of England, to do homage for Cumbria, had not 
hitherto done so because the latter had usurped the kingdom ; 
for King Malcolm wrote back that, by rights, he owed fealty 
therefor not to him, but to the English-born kings. Accordingly, 
on his return from his pilgrimage to Eome, Cnuto speedily set 
out with a large armed force, and, by easy stages, arrived in 
Cumbria, to reduce it to his dominion. The king, on his side, 
equally quite ready for battle, advanced to meet him, supported 
by a strong escort. But, by God's will, they were brought, by 
the intervention of the bishops and other upright men, to agree 
to the following decision : namely, that the king's grandson, 
Duncan, should thenceforward, in all time to come, freely enjoy 
the lordship of Cumbria — as freely as any of his predecessors had 
held it ; while, however, he, and the heirs, for the time being, 
of after kings, should plight their troth, as usual, to King Cnuto 
and the rest of the English kings, his successors. And thus 
they departed in peace, fully reconciled. But some, begotten 
of the stock of the two foregoing kings — Constantine and Gryime, 
to wit — who had lawfully, it was thought, been slain by the king 
and his adherents, treacherously entreated his friendship, for 
fear he should view them with suspicion ; and though they 
swore steadfast faith with him — which it is meet should be ob- 
served even towards a public enemy — they were, nevertheless, 
nothing bound thereby, and conspired to put him to death. 
He, however, wishing to bring their hearts into kindliness of 
feeling towards him, took great pains to enrich them with fre- 


quent gifts and rents — but in vain : for what is rooted in the 
hard bone can seldom be torn out of the soft flesh. So it came 
to pass, afterwards, that when he set out one day, with his 
usual train of knights, on the road he had to take — I know not 
whither, nor to transact what business — those disloyal ruffians, 
who had made diligent inquiries about it, got information _^ 
thereof ; and having, near Glammys, in the darkness of mid- j 
night, barred with robbers from among their satellites, the path 
along which he was to go, they suddenly poured out of their "^ 
ambush and surrounded him, far as he was from suspecting 
any such violence. But he, indeed, undismayed, boldly rushed 
upon them with his followers, and soon overcame their forces, 
which were three times as numerous as his own ; and he slew 
the ringleaders of the traitors. But it was a mournful victory : 
for, woe worth the day ! the king was wounded in the fight ; 
and after surviving three days, he was, at length, to the grief 
of all of Scottish birth, released by death of a haemorrhage, 
at the age of eighty or more. And thus God gave him freely, 
even at his death, such meed of success in victory, as He had 
often bestowed upon him during his life. 


Vice of Treachery, the most shameful of all Vices, and one exe- 
crated hy all men — Various examples of accursed Treachery. 


King Malcolm's liberality, or, rather, prodigality; for he retained 
for himself no part of the Kingdom hut the Moothill of 

Histories relate the aforesaid Malcolm to have been so open- 
handed, or rather prodigal, that, while, according to ancient 
custom, he held, as his own property, aU the lands, districts, 
and provinces of the whole kingdom, he kept nothing thereof 
in his possession, but the Moothill of the royal seat of Scone, 
where the kings, sitting in their royal robes on the throne, are 
wont to give out judgments, laws, and statutes, to their subjects. 
Of old, indeed, the kings were accustomed to grant their soldiers, 
in feu-farm, more or less of their own lands — a portion of any pro- 
vince or thanage : for, at that time, almost the whole kingdom 
was divided into thanages. Of these he granted part to each one 



at will, or on lease by the year, as to tillers of the ground ; or 
for ten or twenty years, or in liferent, with remainder to one or 
two heirs, as to free and kindly tenants ; and to some, likewise, 
though few, in perpetuity, as to knights, thanes, and chiefs ; — not 
however, so freely, but that each of them paid a certain annual 
feu-duty to their lord, the king. As, therefore, he had reserved, 
it is said, nothing for himself from these lands and annual 
rents, at length, driven by sore need, he requested, in a general 
assembly, that out of them some allowance, suitable to the 
kingly dignity, should be provided — namely, either lands, or 
rents, or, at least, a meet yearly subsidy, whereby the honour of 
his majesty might be fully sustained ; provided, however, that 
the poor populace should not, on any account, be weighed down 
by the heavy burden of a yearly contribution. This was 
cheerfully approved of and granted by all, both commoners and 
nobles. Moreover all the nobles, of whatever rank, agreed that 
the wardship of all their lands and their heirs should remain 
with the lord king for twenty years, as well as the relief and 
marriage of every chief or freeholder after his decease. So this 
King Malcolm, it seems, though magnanimous in peace as in 
war, bestowed his property unadvisedly : not because he had 
freely given becoming gifts to those who, having served with 
him in war, well deserved them, and were worthy of them ; but 
because he left the path of bountifulness, and lavishly squan- 
dered, not part of his possessions, but the whole of them, 
keeping nothing for himself ; — for it is certainly unadvised to 
give away, when one must, of necessity, ask back the gift after- 
wards. If, says Bernard, that man is a fool who makes his 
share the worse, what must he be who renders himself utterly 
destitute, so as not to leave himself any share of his goods ? 
Gregory writes : — With some, who are unable to bear want, it 
is better that they should give less, and not murmur at the 
pinch of want, after their bountifulness. Seneca, again, says : — 
Take heed lest thy beneficence be greater than thy ability ; 
for in such liberality lurks the greed of gain, that one's means 
may suffice for largess. Such largess is oftentimes followed by 
rapine. For when men, through giving away, have begun to 
want, they are driven to ' lay their hands on others' goods ; and 
they incur greater hatred from those they have taken away 
from, than good-will from those they have given to. 



Accession of King Duncan, grandson of the above-mentioned 
Malcolm — His Death — He was too long-suffering, or easy- 

After Malcolm was buried with his fathers in the island of 
lona, he was succeeded by his grandson Duncan, whom the 
Abthane Crynyne had begotten of his daughter Beatrice. 
Duncan began to reign in a.d. 1034 — the tenth year of the em- 
peror Conrad ii. ; and reigned six years. In his second year, died 
Cnuto the Dane, king of England, and was succeeded by his son 
Harold Harefote, who reigned five years. The same year, also, 
died Eobert, Duke of Normandy, and was succeeded by his 
illegitimate son William, called the Bastard, a boy seven years 
old, who afterwards invaded England. Henry, king of France, 
"William's guardian, vanquished in battle the Normans who 
opposed him, and shortly appointed him duke. Now Duncan, 
in his grandfather's days, begat, of the cousin of Earl Siward, 
two sons, Malcolm Canmore, that is, in English, Greathead, 
and Donald Bane. On this Malcolm the district of Cumbria was 
bestowed, as soon as his father was crowned. During the short 
period of Duncan's reign, nothing was done whereof mention 
should be made ; for he enjoyed the security of peace at the 
hands of all, both abroad and at home, save that a rumour was 
spread branding certain members of an old family of conspira- 
tors as conspiring for his death, as they had done for his grand- 
father's before him. And though this had more than once been 
revealed to him by those faithful to him, he refused to put faith 
in them, saying that it was past belief that those men should 
dare to undertake the perpetration of so villanous a deed. Hence 
it came to pass that forasmuch as he would not yield at first to 
the words of the faithful, which he did not believe, he afterwards 
suddenly fell into the snares of the faithless, which he had not 
foreseen. For he had a praiseworthy habit of going through the 
districts of the kingdom once a year, kindly comforting with his 
presence his own peaceful people ; redressing the wrongs of the 
weaker unlawfully oppressed by the stronger; putting a stop to 
the unjust and unwonted exactions of his officers ; curbing with 
judicious severity the lawlessness of freebooters and other evil- 
doers, who ran riot among the people ; and hushing the domestic 
broils of the inhabitants ; — and this good quality was inborn in 
him, that he never suffered any dispute, either in his days or his 
grandfather's, to spring up in the kingdom, between the chiefs, 

jVc V'- - "'' 

180 JOHN OF FORDUN'S CHRONICL? '^ ..,>*- ^' ^^ 

but he heard it at once, and restored harmony by his good sense. 
He was, however, murdered through the wickedness of a family, 
the murderers of both his grandfather and gr^at-grandfather, the 
head of which was Machabeus, son of Finele; by whom he 
was privily wounded unto death at Bothgofnane ; and, being 
carried to Elgin, he died there, and was buried, a few days after, 
in the island of lona. He was, it seems, too long-suffering, or 
rather easy-going, a king, in that he did not, by kindness, soothe 
into friendship men who were accused by hearsay, or in anywise 
suspected ; and in that he did not put them down by the laws, or, 
at least, even while dissembling, put himself more carefully on 
his guard against them. In his long-suffering, he was very like 
the emperor Vespasian ; who, with huge dissimulation, despised 
many conspiracies against him, even when brought to light, 
though he punished with the penalty of exile — nothing more — 
some persons guilty of high treason against him. Inasmuch, 
however, as he inflicted punishment at all, he was harsher than 
his son Titus, or King Duncan. The emperor Titus, indeed, 
was a man admired for all manner of virtues, so that he was 
called the " love and delight of mankind." He was so gentle and 
mild that he punished no one at all. He forgave those who 
had been convicted of vowing a conspiracy against him, and 
admitted them into the same familiarity as they had before 
enjoyed — though I think he guarded himself, for the future, 
with more earnest care. 


Accession of King 'Machabeus — King Duncan's sons driven ovi 
of the Kingdom into England. 

Then this Machabeus, hedged round with bands of the disaf- 
fected and at the head of a powerful force, seized the kingly 
dignity in a.d. 1040, and reigned seventeen years. The same 
year died the emperor Conrad, and was succeeded by Henry, 
called the Pious, who was emperor also seventeen years. But 
King Machabeus, after King Duncan's death, went after his sons, 
Malcolm Canmore, who should have succeeded him, and Donald 
Bane, seeking, with all his might, to slay them. They, on the 
other hand, withstanding him as best they could, and hoping for 
victory, remained nearly two years in the kingdom; while few of 
the people openly came either to his assistance, or to theirs. When, 
therefore, they durst struggle no longer, Donald betook himself 
to the isles, and Malcolm to Cumbria; for it seemed to them, that, 
had they remained, they would more likely have died than lived. 


Malcolm afterwards, wishing to have Earl Siward's advice in 
all his undertakings there, went on to him ; and, by his advice 
and guidance, he sought an audience of King Edward, who was 
then reigning. The king, who was very merciful and mild, 
willingly extended his friendship unto him, and promised him 
help, — for Edward himself had lately been an exile, as 
Malcolm now was. So Malcolm abode in England about 
fourteen years, though many a time urged to return, both by 
friends and rivals ; — his rivals, indeed, working for his ruin, 
and his friends to raise him to the throne. Now, in these days, 
some of the chiefs of the kingdom talked together in whispers 
about recalling Malcolm, seeing that he was the true heir to 
the throne. But they did so with too little secrecy ; and, accord- 
ingly, it profited them nothing at all : for now and again what 
was spoken in a man's ear, and passed on from one to another, 
was openly told the king. Therefore many of them, and those 
especially whom he knew to be in close friendship with Mal- 
colm, when they had been found guilty of vowing a conspiracy, 
the king condemned to various hardships. Some of them he 
delivered over unto death ; others he thrust into loathsome 
dungeons ; others he reduced to utter want, by confiscating all 
their goods. Some, likewise, fearing the king's fierce judgments, 
leaving their estates, their wives, and children, fled from the 
country, with the hope, however, of some day returning. Now, 
in the first year of Machabeus, Harold Harefote, king of Eng- 
land, of Danish birth, was succeeded, after his death, by his 
brother Hardcanute, who was the last king of Danish birth in 
England, and reigned two years. This king, immediately after 
his coronation, dug his brother, the aforesaid Harold, out of his 
grave, cut off his head, and threw him into the river Thames. 
After his death, his successor, Saint Edward the Confessor, son 
of Ethelred, and brother of Edmund Ironside, after having long- 
lived in exile in Normandy, obtained the throne of England, 
and reigned twenty-four years. 


Outlawry of the Thane of Fife, Macduff hy name, on account of 
the friendship he lore towards Duncans sons, Malcolm, 
called Canmore, and Donald. 

The greatest and chief of those who laboured to advance 
Malcolm to the throne was a distinguished, noble, and trusty 
man, named Macduff, thane of Fife. Macduff kept the un- 


known purpose of his heart hidden longer and more carefully 
than the rest; but he was, nevertheless, again and again de- 
nounced to the king, until, at length, he was viewed with sus- 
picion. Meanwhile the king, one day, took occasion, I know not 
on what pretext, first to upbraid him, more cruelly than usual, 
perhaps on account of his disloyalty, with his shortcomings 
towards him; and then added plainly that he should stoop his 
neck under the yoke, as that of the ox in a wain ; and he swore 
it should be so before long. Macduff, however, though seized 
with exceeding great terror, turned upon him the blithe and 
merry look of innocence, as the threatening and sudden emer- 
gency demanded, with great tact, and soothed his fierceness for 
the time, with a certain shrewd softness in his words. Then, 
cautiously going away out of his presence, and stealthily 
avoiding the court, he went off with all haste, and quickly 
repaired to the sea ; and as the wind did not seem likely to 
hold fair very long, he embarked on board a little vessel 
scantily stocked with food. So, after having undergone 
many dangers of the sea through boisterous weather, he safely 
landed in England, with bare life, and was there kindly 
received by Malcolm, on account of the support he had given 
him. But when his secret departure became known to the 
king, the latter was furious ; and, calling his horses and horse- 
men every one, he hastily followed after the fugitive, until he 
had made sure that he saw, out at sea, and clear of the land, 
the little vessel, in which Macduff had sailed. So, as he had 
no hope of being able to intercept her, he hastily came back, 
besieged . all Macduff's castles and strongholds, took his 
lands and estates, commanded everything that seemed precious 
. or desirable to be confiscated, and, taking away all his substance, 

i^ ^^^Q it be placed forthwith in his own treasury. Moreover, he 
<i ^«'' caused him to be proclaimed, by the voice of a herald, an exile 

n M^tJis/r.^or ever, and stripped of all his estates and other property what- 
j soever. Thereupon there rose great murmuring throughout the 

**'^ ' "^ whole kingdom, and especially among the nobles (for the thane 
was beloved by them with kindly affection) ; for that the king, 
led rather by wrath than by reason, had been too hasty in render- 
ing so doughty and powerful a man exile, or disinherited, without 
a decree of a general council, and of the nobles. They said that 
it was quite wrong that any noble or private person should be 
condemned by a sudden sentence of exile or disinheritance, until 
ho had been summoned to court on the lawful day of the 
appointed time. And if, then, when he came, he justified himself 
by the laws, he should thus go forth free ; but if he were 
worsted in court, he should atone to the king at the cost of 


his body, or otherwise ; or, if he should neglect to come when 
summoned, then, first, ought he to be outlawed as an exile j or, 
if he should plead guilty, disinherited. 


First Arrival of Malcolm Canmore at the Court of Edward, 
King of England — Marianus Scotus. 

Now, after kings of Danish birth had held the kingdom of 
England twenty-four years, and ceased to reign. Saint Edward, 
son of Ethelred, and brother of King Edmund, called, from his 
great bodily strength. Ironside, was chosen king by all the 
people ; for the true heirs, sons of that same Edmund, were, 
until then, and for a long time after, living in Hungary. In the 
first year, then, of this same King Edward, Malcolm Canmore, 
driven out of his fatherland, came to England ; and the king, 
knowing that he had been unjustly deprived of the kingly 
dignity, gladly took him under his protection, and into his own 
service. In the last days of the foregoing emperor, Henry ill., 
or, as some maintain, in the earlier days of Henry iv., according 
to Helinandus and Sigebert, lived the famous Marianus Scotus, 
who came out of Scotland into France, and became a monk at 
Cologne. He shut himself up first in the monastery of Fulda, 
in Saxony, which is renowned for the body of Saint Gall, and 
endowed with most magnificent estates. The abbot of that 
place furnishes sixty thousand warriors against the emperor's 
enemies. Afterwards, at Mentz, where he earned the grace of the 
life to come by his contempt for this life. During his long life 
of leisure, he examined the chronologers, thought over the dis- 
crepancies of the cycles, and added twenty-two years over and 
above, which were wanting in the aforesaid cycles ; but he had 
few followers in his opinion. William says : — Wherefore I am 
wont often to wonder why this misfortune besets the learned of 
our time, that, with so great a number of students, saddening 
their lives with wan moping, hardly any one gives full praise to 
knowledge. Time-honoured use pleases so much, that no one, 
almost, yields a fair assent, according to their worth, to fresh 
discoveries, even though they can be proved. We make every 
effort to crawl back to the opinion of the ancients ; everything 
modern is paltry. Thus, since favour alone fosters wit, when 
favour is wanting, wit is everywhere benumbed. 

184 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 



Macduff urges Malcolm Canmore to return to the Kingdom — Hie 
latter, to try whether he was in good faith, or was deceiving 
him, falsely asserts that he is Sensual. 

After Macduff, therefore, had landed at Eavynsore, in Eng- 
land, he hastened to Malcolm ; and, seizing a fit time for an 
interview, urged him to return, warmly exhorting him to be- 
take himself to the government of the kingdom, a consumma- 
tion too long delayed through his own sloth, and no one else's. 
" Do not," said he, " mistrust my good faith. Thy father always 
held me faithful ; and in spite of the many hardships I have 
borne, to thee also have I been faithful, and am, and shall be 
all my life. The greater part of the chiefs of the kingdom have, 
with an oath, plighted their steadfast troth to me, in thy name, 
and I, in like manner, have also done the same to them, with- 
out deceit : so thou mayest firmly believe that we are in heart 
and soul oath-fellows in loyal obedience to thee. I know, 
likewise, that thou possessest the hearts of all the common 
people. They will joyfully hasten together to shed their blood 
for thee, under thy unfolded banner, pleased to render service 
to thee, their liege lord." When Malcolm heard this saying, he 
was very glad in his heart ; but turning over and over again in 
his faltering mind whether Macduff was urging true arguments, 
in good faith, or false, in treachery, he was somewhat afraid. 
For this very matter of his return had been cunningly urged 
upon him before, by some of the opposite side, to deceive him ; 
so he was prudent enough to try him carefully, in the following 
manner : — " My dearest friend, I thank thee and thy comrades 
with all my heart ; and according to your deserts shall I requite 
you— and thee above all — as far as I can, under God's guidance. 
But, being especially sure, in a manner, of thy fealty, I shall 
reveal unto thee, my friend, some things that lurk implanted by 
nature in my heart, without hesitating because tliou hast con- 



cealed them. There have grown up with me, from the begin- 
ning, some monstrous besetting sins, which, even though thou 
should succeed in bringing me to do what thou demandest, — 
yea, even if every difficulty were swept away, and thou wert to 
bestow the crown upon me, would not let me reign over you 
long. The first of these is a marvellous pleasure in detestable 
lust, which is rooted in my flesh ; and thou w^ouldst not believe 
what a seducer of maids and women it makes me. And I feel 
sure that, were I to get the sovereign power, I could not forbear 
violating the beds of my nobles, and deflowering maidens. I am 
aware, therefore, that, on a frequent repetition of such shame- 
ful wickedness among the people, I should be utterly driven 
out of the country by the chiefs, as well as the boors, of the 
kingdom, whose wives and daughters I had wronged. Where- 
fore it seems to me better to live as a private man, than, after 
having come by the kingly dignity, to be shamefully degraded 
therefrom by my revolted subjects, by reason of my faults. 


Malcolm adduces various instances of Kings having lost their 
Kingdoms through Sensuality. 

" Now I will give thee some instances of what evils, and how 
great, have befallen various mighty kings, in times past, by 
reason of their unbridled indulgence in lust. Tarquinius 
Superbus, of old a mighty king of Rome, after having reigned 
thirty-four years, lost the kingdom, as thou art aware, because 
his son, also Tarquinius, lewdly violated Lucretia, the wife of 
CoUatinus. For after she had bewailed her wrongs before her 
father, and her husband, and the rest of her friends, she stabbed 
herself with a dagger, and killed herself, in the sight of all. 
Thereupon the citizens were roused to such wrath, that, after 
they had deposed the king, and shut him out, they never could 
bear any one who had the name of Tarquin — nor, indeed, 
would they ever consent to have a king over them any more. 
A king of Assyria, likewise, Sardanapalus, the last of his race, 
a man more dissolute than a woman, in order that he might 
have his fill of lustful pleasures, dressed purple floss with a 
distaff, in women's clothes, amid bevies of strumpets. For this 
he was held in such execration by all, that he lost his kingdom 
as well as his life ; so that, in him, the line of his house ceased 
to reign. Again, a king of the Franks, Chilperic, son of Mero- 
veus, and father of the great Clovis, being too much given to 


sensuality, and lewdly violating the wives and daughters of his 
subjects, was deposed from the kingdom ; nor was it until eight 
years were overpast, and then only by chance, at least, on his 
promising continence, under a bond, that he was taken back to 
be king. In like manner, Edwy, that late over-wanton king of 
England, indulged so much in sensual lust, that, on the very 
day he was consecrated king, while the lords were dealing 
with matters of importance to the kingdom, he rose from 
their midst, and burst into his chamber, where he sank into 
the embraces of a harlot ; but Saint Dunstan pulled him off 
the bed, and thus made him his enemy for ever. On account 
of such vices, therefore, or greater than these, the nobles of the 
kingdom always hated him, and held him, as it were, no king. 
A former king of our own country of Scotland, too, Culen, 
was he not slain by one of his subjects, through sensuality, to 
wit, because he had ravished that man's maiden daughter ? 
The kingdom of Hibernia, likewise, came to an end with the 
lustful king Eodoric (begotten, forsooth, of the stock of our 
own race), who would have six wives at once, not like a Chris- 
tian king, and would not send them away, in spite of the loss 
of his kingdom— though he had often been warned by tlie whole 
Church, both archbishops and bishops, and chidden, with fear- 
ful threats, by all the inhabitants, both chiefs and private per- 
sons. He was therefore despised by them all ; and they would 
never more deign to obey him — neither deign they to obey any 
king to this day. Besides, as thou seest, that kingdom, so re- 
nowned formerly, in our forefathers' time, is now miserably 
split up into thirty kingdoms, or more. But I need not 
stop here. I can bring thee forward an hundred instances of 
kings and chiefs, who, I know full well, have been overwhelmed 
solely through this vice of incontinence." 


Macduff, in ansiver, adduces the instance of the Emperor Octavian, 
who was sensualy yet most happy. 

Macduff, then, said unto him, as it were, scornfully: — 
" Does this seem to thee a fit and satisfactory answer to make 
to me ? and not to me alone, but to those who wish thee well, 
to whom I am doing duty as messenger ? — to us all, namely, 
who, for thee, have forsaken country, estates, wives, and 
children, and the nation of our own blood? who, moreover, 
lately put our lives in peril of death, as was meet, and would 


do SO again in time to come, if thou boldly do thy part ? 
But I wonder much what this excusing of thyself with empty 
pretexts would mean ? Thou fearest, as I understand, to 
mount the pinnacle of the kingship, because of thy unbridled 
love of pleasure, expecting that thou shalt not be able to get 
plenty of women in the kingdom, without the daughters and 
wives of the nobles. Does not such an excuse lack reason? 
Shalt thou not, being king, be able to have, at will, the fairest 
maidens and the most pleasant women to glut thy wanton lust ? 
I make bold to say thou shalt indeed, even though thou wert 
twice as sensual as the kings whose incontinence thou hast in- 
stanced, as Sardanapalus and Chilperic, or Eodoric, — nay, 
further, as the emperor Octavian, who was such a slave to lust, 
as even to be a byword and a reproach. For, as history tells 
us, he was wont to lie amid twelve maids and as many dissolute 
women. But he did not, on that account, lose the name of 
* the most happy emperor,' or the favour of the people, which 
mourned him at his death, saying, * Oh that he had never been 
born, or had never died !' He was a man who would certainly 
never have drawn to him so much power in the commonwealth, 
or possessed it so long, had he not teemed with great gifts, both 
natural and acquired. For he wondrously strengthened, governed, 
and increased the Eoman empire ; he adorned the city with 
sundry buildings such as had not before been seen, making this 
boast : — ' I found a city of brick, and leave it of marble.' In like 
manner, thou, if thou meetly extend the borders of thy king- 
dom, rule it in peace, and adornit with new laws and new build- 
ings, thou shalt not, for such misdeeds, lose the name of a good 
king, or the favour of the nation. And, as Octavian sang, of old, 
boasting of his Eome, thou mayst sing of thy kingdom, — * I lately 
found Scotland without laws, barren in crops, and herds of 
cattle ; I now leave it in peace, and fruitful in all good things.' " 


Malcolm tries him a second time, hy asserting himself to he a 
Thief — Macduff ansvjcrs hy laying down the Remedy for 
this Vice. 

" All thou tellest me is true," said Malcolm, " but my spirit 
is always so eagerly prone to this vice, that sometimes it can 
scarcely be curbed by reason. But there is yet a besetting sin 
which stands in my way, one much more disgraceful than this ; — 
and I should not speak of it, for very shame. However, I will 


not hide it from thee, my friend, though I must tell it in secret. 
I am a paltry thief, and a robber. For as the loadstone naturally 
attracts iron, so does my wretched heart, attracted by every- 
thing fair and delightful and pleasant to the eyes, strongly 
yearn for it; and, luring on the other members of my body, 
by some force they cannot resist, unceasingly prompts them to 
steal. Thou mayst be sure of this : that it seems to me quite 
impossible for me not to steal. Therefore it would be much 
pleasanter and more endurable to go a needy beggar, from 
door to door, or to die at last, than that through me, when 
set upon the pinnacle of the kingship, the kingly majesty 
should be wronged by such shameful misdeeds. The higher 
a man is, the greater the scandal of his fall into vice, com- 
pared with that of the backsliding of a man in a lower station." 
"That is, no doubt, true," rejoined Macduff, "for, the higher 
the rank, the more grievous the fall. In sooth, the higher a 
man is raised on the ladder of honour, the more ought he to 
be distinguished for his virtues ; and the higher he climbs up 
the steep of virtue, the greater shame to him if he fall into 
the depths of vice. A prince, likewise, is doubly a wrong-doer 
if he stray from the path of virtue. For, first, he entangles 
himself in vice, and, next, he affords the humbler classes an 
example of wrong-doing. For 

' The fickle rabble changes with the chief.' 

But, to return : what thou sayest — that it seems to thee that 
thou canst not help stealing, and, as thou saidst above, com- 
mitting adultery — is incompatible with God's law, which He 
wrote with His own hand. For He has written, — ' Thou shalt 
not commit adultery,' * Thou shalt not steal ;' and we must 
believe that, in His precepts for the observance of His law, God 
wrote things not impossible, but possible for us. Furthermore, 
no one is tried beyond his powers : for there is no doubt that, with 
regard to all vices and virtues, it depends on our free will whether 
we eschew them or yield to them. We can certainly keep all 
God's precepts, whether in doing right, or in taking heed not to 
do wrong, if we bring meet and willing earnestness to bear. So 
neither this nor the foregoing excuse is a valid one. Every one 
is aware that the crime of theft comes of want ; while, on the 
other hand, it is always one of the conditions of kingly majesty 
to be wealthy, and continually fuU of all manner of riches, 
lacking nothing. What man, then, of sound mind, will not 
leave off stealing, when he can boast of wealth of all kinds, to 
overflowing ? Never, when thou art king, wilt thou lack gold, 
or silver, or precious stones, or jewels ; or whatever, in short, 


shall be welcome and pleasant to thy heart. Be brave in spirit, 
therefore. Do thy best to seize the wealthy office of king, and 
refuse not to cast away far from thee those heinous sins, that of 
stinking sensuality, to wit, and that needy fault, avarice, which 
leads to theft. 


Malcolm tries him a third time, hy confessing that he is most 
false and cunning — Macduff can find no remedy for this 
fault, and retires in sorrow. 

But Malcolm, wishing to probe to the core the heart of his 
friend Macduff, who had not yet been fully tested, answered by 
propounding the following problem : — " Grateful and useful to 
me are the antidotes thou boldest out for screening the two 
faults I have mentioned ; but there remains yet untouched the 
wound of a third blemish, — that of unfaithfulness, and the sin 
of cunning, lurking within me. I must indeed confess that I am 
false,' though I hide it ; ingenious in contriving cunning devices ; 
keeping with few the faith I have plighted ; yet making feigned 
promises to keep it with all. There is always, in my inmost 
spirit, this wickedness, that, if ever an opportunity presents itself, 
I would rather cheat a man by the hidden artfulness of smooth 
feigning, than openly trust my cause to be settled by the doubtful 
chances of fortune. Now, help thou me in this sin also, as thou 
didst in the foregoing ones ; and palliate it, I pray thee, with 
some cloak from thy shrewd mind, and whatever the tenor of 
thy proposal may require, I am ready to fulfil it with all my 
might." When Macduff heard this, he was beyond measure 
astonished ; and, after being silent for some time, he sighed, and 
said, — " Oh wretched men that we are ! the most wretched of 
wretches ! Alas for us ! for us, I say, who have struggled to 
follow only such as thou, a silly, inglorious man, steeped in vice, 
and lacking all virtue ! Alas for us ! Why were we born ? How 
unhappy may we be called ! What a misfortune has befallen us ! 
for are we not confounded by a threefold chance against us ? Of 
three accursed evils, we must incur at least one : that is to say, 
we must either lose our wives and children, and all our earthly 
goods, and, as wanderers, undergo perpetual banishment ; or 
serve a tyrant king, who, by rights, ought not to be set over us 
or the state, and to whom it belongs, as is usual with all tyrants, 
to exercise his insatiable avarice, and cruel despotism, among 


the people ; or be subject unto thee, our liege king, by law ; — 
far be it from us ! for the tenor of thine own confession asserts 
thee to be unworthy of being king, chief, or private person. 
Thou confessest thyself to be lustful, and a thief, and, what is 
worse — nay, the meanest of all sins, —false, cunning, and faithless, 
and an artful deceiver. Lo 1 what other kind of badness seems to 
be left, but that thou shouldst call thyself a traitor ? But it 
follows, as a matter of course ; for when such faults are hidden 
in the depths of the heart, treachery is, without fail, found 
lurking therein in their company. So, forasmuch as all the kin- 
dled torches of unrighteousness are gathered together within thee, 
and a burning and craving covetousness, and a haughty and 
unbearable cruelty reign in the breast of thine adversary, neither 
of you shall ever lord it over me ; I will rather choose banish- 
ment for ever." With these words, unable to contain himself 
any longer, he burst into tears, which furrowed his cheeks ; 
and wringing his hands, and groaning deeply, and weeping 
and moaning, he looked mournfully northwards, and said : . 
" Scotland, farewell for ever !" 


Malcolm^ now assured of his good faith, promises to return 
to the Kingdom with him. 

Macduff, then, was going away ; when Malcolm, finding to 
the full that he detested perfidy above all things, and feeling 
now assured of his good faith, quickly followed him, and asked 
him to stop and speak with him, saying, — " Dearest of all my 
friends, beloved above all living, hitherto I have been only 
troubled as to whether thou art faithful or faithless ; lest thou, 
like some froward ones sometime, as thou art aware, should 
have been urging my return, with feigned quibbles, as they did, 
that I might be betrayed to my rivals. Therefore did I wish to 
find thee out by these several tests. And since thou hast been 
tried, and I know that thou loathest the brand of guile and 
treacheiy, I hold thee, and always shall hold thee, faithful, far 
more fully than thou deemest. I am not sensual, or a thief, or 
faithless ; but it was to try thee that I pretended I was given to 
such faults. Far be it from me that these filthy sins and the 
like, which are loathed by all men, should have dominion over 
me more than over the rest of mankind. Come, then, my dear 
friend. Henceforth fear not ! Thou shalt not be an exile from thy 
fatherland and thy children, — nay, thou shalt be the first in the 


kingdom, after the king. From now, take comfort, and be 
strong. Thou shalt bring me back into my land, the land the 
Lord gave our fathers to dwell in." On hearing this, Macduff 
fell on his face to the ground ; and, as he had been before all 
bathed in tears through anguish, mourning with dismalsobs, so 
was he now through joy and exultation; and, clasping Malcolm's 
feet and kissing them, he said : " If what thou say est be true, 
thou bringest me back from death to life. Hasten, my lord, 
hasten, I beseech thee, and delay not to free thy people, which 
yearns for thee above all things. 

If thou would keep good men, and true, from harm, 

Men who have fought without one helping arm, 

Men on whose necks foes, for three lustres, trod. 

Help them, in pity, for the love of God. 

Stay not to think, but up, and fell the foe ; 

Lighten the burden of thy people's w^oe. 

Gird on thy sword, thy trusty weapons take ; 

For strong thy limbs, and firm thy sturdy make. 

A Scot, the heir of a long royal race. 

Good hap advance thee to thy father's place. 

Thou shalt, I swear, possess the kingly throne ; 

All rights are thine, nought does thy rival own. 

Be ever bold to battle for thy right ; 

Yet think not rashness e'er can speed the fight. 

If fate aUow, tempt not the headlong fray ; 

For, unprepared, the best but blindly stray. 

Let not the foe forestall thee in the field ; 

Beware thou lest the vantage-ground thou yield." 


Malcolm's return to Scotland — Macliaheus falls in hattle. 

When the discussion of these points was over, and all doubt 
and ambiguity were removed, Malcolm sent this Macduff back 
into Scotland, with a secret message to his friends, that they 
should be carefully prepared, and without doubt expect his 
return shortly. Then, after Macduff was gone, Malcolm at once 
presented himself before King Edward, and humbly besought 
him that he would graciously deign to let some of the 
English lords, who were willing freely to do so, set out with 
him to Scotland and recover his kingdom. The mild king at 
once assented to his prayer, and granted free leave to aU who 



wished it ; and graciously promised, moreover, that he himself 
also would back him up with a powerful army. Malcolm, 
thereupon, returned thanks beyond measure to that holy king 
most mild, who was the compassionate adviser and ready helper 
of all who were unjustly afflicted ; and, departing from him, as 
soon as he was ready, he took with him, of the English lords, 
only Siward, Earl of Northumberland, and set out to gain pos- 
session of Scotland. But he had not yet reached the borders of 
the kingdom, when he heard that the people of the country was 
stirred by feuds, and divided into parties between Machabeus 
and Macduff, by reason of the report spread by the latter, who 
had preceded him, and had not been cautious enough in adher- 
ing to his plans in the matter. So Malcolm hastened on 
speedily with his soldiery, and rested not until he had, by com- 
bining bands of men from all sides, organized a large army. 
Many of these, who had formerly been following Machabeus, had 
fallen away from him, and cleaved to Malcolm with their whole 
strength. Thereupon Machabeus, seeing that his own forces 
were daily diminishing, while Malcolm's were increasing, hur- 
riedly left the southern districts, and made his way north, 
where he hoped to keep himself in safety among the narrow 
passes of the country and the thickets in the woods. Malcolm, 
however, unexpectedly followed after him, at a quick pace, 
across the hills, and even as far as Lunfanan ; and, engaging there 
suddenly in a slight battle with him, he slew him, with a few 
who stood their ground, on the 5th of December 1056. For 
the people whom Machabeus had led forth to the battle knew 
full well that Malcolm was their true lord ; so, refusing to with- 
stand him in battle, they forsook the field, and fled at the first 
trumpet-blast. William, in describing the aforesaid battle, says : 
— Siward, Earl of Northumbria, at King Edward's command, 
engaged Machabeus, king of the Scots, despoiled him of his 
life and his kingdom, and there set up Malcolm, the son of 
the king of Cumbria, as king. This is how William, ascribing 
none of the praise for the victory in this battle to Malcolm, 
assigned it all to Siward ; while the truth is, that the victory 
was entirely owing to the former alone, with his men and his 
standard-bearer. This at least I am pretty sure of, — that had 
Malcolm not been there, this people would not have fled from 
the battle, even if King Edward, and his men to boot, had been 
present with Siward. 



The author makes allowance for the people of any kingdom desert- 
ing an unlavjful King in battle — Lulath is raised to the 
throne — His death. 

Now, allowance might be made for the flight of this faithful 
people, who, long weighed down by tyranny, either could not, 
or durst not, rise up against it, yet, in their hearts, kept rest- 
lessly brooding over their king's cruel death, and the rightful 
heir's unlawful banishment for so long a time ; so that, not deign- 
ing to submit any longer to this uneasy subjection of theirs 
under a man of their own class, they took this opportunity of 
giving the rightful heir, by their flight, an opening for surely 
recovering ^the kingdom. For, truly, it seems, I think, that the 
faithful native-born people of any country, when its head, that 
is to say, its king, has been taken away by violence, or is suffer- 
ing any humiliation, certainly suffers with him, and grieves for 
his reproach, as if sorrowing for its own ; — as it is said in the 
proverb : — " When the head aches, the other members droop." 
Now, this is true of healthy members, which suffer with the 
aching of the head ; not of rotten or cankered members, which 
feel not faintness when the head is aching. For it often 
happens that, from the touch of such members, certain members 
fall into an incurable distemper ; and thus sometimes the head 
also is infected by them with such a distemper, so that the 
whole body may be made a mgnstrosity. May not, indeed, any 
body whatsoever deserve to be called a monstrosity, whereof the 
foot, — the lowest member I mean, — festering with a fiery dis- 
temper, and not allayed in time by the hands, with cautery, 
overrides the more worthy members, and infects its own head 
with poison, tearing it off, and unnaturally putting itself, 
instead of the head, upon the neck affl shoulders ? Now, at 
the same time and year as the battle of Lumfanan, Griflin, king 
of Wales, routed Eadulph, Earl of Hereford, in battle; and, 
having slain Levegar, bishop of that town, and Eglenoth, the 
Sheriff, with many others, he burnt up with fire the town and 
the whole county, together with the bishop. But Siward, as 
soon as he had received news of this from his king, by sure 
hand, hastily came home again, as he was bidden, never more 
to go back to Malcolm's assistance. For, on the death of 
Machabeus, some of his kinsfolk, who were just the men for 
such a piece of iniquity, came together, and bringing his cousin 
Lulath, surnamed the Simple, to Scone, set him on the royal 



seat and appointed him king — for they hoped that the people 
would willingly obey him as king ; but no one would yield him 
obedience, or become a party to anything that had been or was 
to be done. On hearing this, Malcolm sent forth his earls 
hither and thither after him. But their efforts were fruitlessly 
spun out through four months ; until, searching in the higher 
districts, they found him at a place called Essy, in the district 
of Strathbolgy, and slew him with his followers ; or, as some 
relate, Malcolm came across him there, by chance, and put him 
to death, in the year 1057, on the 3d of April, in Easter week, 
on a Thursday. They also relate that both these kings, Macha- 
beus and Lulath, were buried in the island of lona. 


Accession of King Malcolm to the kingdom — He fights with a 


When all his enemies had been everywhere laid low, or were 
made to submit to him, this aforesaid Malcolm was set on the 
king's throne, at Scone, in the presence of the chiefs of the 
kingdom, and crowned, to the honour and glory of all the Scots, 
in that same month of April, on Saint Mark's day, in that same 
year — 1057, to wit, the first year of the emperor Henry iv., who 
reigned fifty years. The king reigned thirty-six years and six 
months. He was a king very humble in heart, bold in spirit, 
exceeding strong in bodily strength, daring, though not rash, 
and endowed with many other good qualities, as will appear in 
the sequel. During the first nine years of his reign, until the 
arrival of William the Bastard, he maintained security of peace 
and fellowship with the English. In the thirteenth year of the 
said King Edward, his brother the late King Edmund Iron- 
side's son, whose name was Edward, came to England from Hun- 
gary, bringing with him his wife Agatha, his son Edgar, and 
two daughters — Margaret, afterwards queen of the Scots, and 
Christina, a holy nun ; and he was received with great rejoicings 
by his uncle the king, and the whole English people. We shall 
speak of these at greater length later, in their proper place. Of 
Malcolm, the high-souled king of the Scots, says Turgot, we 
instance this as worthy of mention, to the end that this one of 
his doings, here set down, may show forth to those who read of 
it how kind was his heart, and liow great his soul. Once upon 
a time it was reported to him that one of his greatest nobles 
had agreed with his enemies to slay him. The king commanded 


the man who had brought him this news to hold his peace ; and 
himself awaited in silence the arrival of the traitor, who hap- 
pened then to be away. So when the traitor came to court with 
a great train to set a trap for the king, the latter, putting on as 
pleasant a countenance as usual towards him and his followers, 
pretended that he had heard nothing, and knew nothing, of what 
he was brooding over in his mind and deep down in his heart. 
To make a long story short, the king bade all his huntsmen meet 
at daybreak, with their dogs. Dawn, then, had just chased away 
the night, when the king, having called unto him all the nobles 
and knights, hastened to go out hunting, for an airing. After a 
time, he came to a certain broad plain, begirt by a very thick 
wood, in the manner of a crown ; in the midst whereof a hillock 
seemed to swell out as it were, enamelled with the motley beauty 
of flowers of divers hues, and afforded a welcome lounge to the 
knights whenever they were tired out with hunting. The king 
then halted upon this hillock, above the others, and, according 
to a law of hunting, which the people call tristra, told them 
all off, severally, with their dogs and mates, to their several 
places ; so that the quarry, hemmed in on every side, should find 
death and destruction awaiting it at whatever outlet it might 
choose. But the king himself went off apart from the others, 
alone with one other, retaining his betrayer with him; and 
they were side by side. 


The fight — The Traitor is worsted. 

Now, when they were out of sight and hearing of aU, the king 
stopped, and, with a stern look that meant strife, broke out into 
these words : — " Here we are," said he, " thou and I, man to man, 
with like weapons to protect us. There is none to stand by me 
— ^king though I be — and none to help thee ; nor can any see or 
hear. So now, if thou can, if thou dare, if thy heart fail thee 
not, fulfil by the deed what thou hast conceived in thy heart, 
and redeem thy promise to my foes. If thou think to slay me, 
when better, when more safely, when more freely, when, in 
short, couldst thou do so in a more manly way ? Hast thou 
poison ready for me? Who knows not that is only what a 
girl would do ? Wouldst thou entrap me in my bed ? An 
adulteress could do so too. Hast thou a dagger concealed to 
strike me unawares ? None but would say that is a murderer's, 
not a knight's part. Act rather like a knight, not like a traitor. 
Act like a man, not like a woman. Meet me as man to man, 


that thy treachery may seem to be free at least from meamiess ; 
for, disloyalty it can never be free from !" All this time, the 
wretched man could hardly bear up under this ; but soon, struck 
by his words as by the weight of a thunderbolt, with all speed 
he alighted from the horse he was riding, and, throwing away his 
weapons, fell, in tears, at the king's feet ; and, with a trembling 
heart, thus spake : — " My lord the king, let thy kingly might 
overlook this unrighteous purpose of mine for this once ; and 
whatever my evil heart may have lately plotted, touching such a 
betrayal of thy body, shall henceforth be blotted out. For I pro- 
mise before God and his mother that, for the future, I shall be 
most faithful to thee against all men." " Fear not, my friend," 
rejoined the king, " fear not. Thou shalt suffer no evil through 
me or from me, on account of this. I bid thee, however, name 
me hostages in pledge, and bring them to me." The hostages 
were named, and soon after brought to the king ; who there- 
upon said, — ** I say unto thee, on the word of a king, that the 
matter shall stand as I promised thee before." When, therefore, 
that traitor had, in due time, satisfied the king's wishes in the 
above particulars, they returned to their companions, and spoke 
to no man of what they had done, or said. 


Death of Edward, King of the English — TJie nobles would have 
Tnade the blessed Margaret's brother, Edward^ King, had the 
Clergy consented — Visiati of Saint Edward. 

King Edward, says William, bowed with age, and having no 
children himself, while he saw Godwin's sons growing in power, 
sent to the king of the Huns (but Turgot says, to the emperor) 
to send him over Edward, the son of his brother Edmund Iron- 
side, and all his family ; — for that either he was to succeed to 
the kingdom of England by hereditary right, or his sons should 
do so ; because his own childlessness ought to be made good 
by the help of his kindred. Edward accordingly arrived, but 
immediately paid the debt of nature at St. Paul's in London, 
leaving his son Edgar, with his afore-named sisters, surviving 
him. This Edgar, the king recommended to the nobles, as 
being by blood the next for the kingship. The king, at length, 
when he had not fully completed his twenty-fourth year on 
the throne, died on the Eve of Epiphany ; and the next day, 
while the grief for the king's death was stiU fresh, Harold, the 
son of Godwin, extorted fealty from the chiefs — though, accord- 


ing to others, these consented — and seized the diadem of the 
kingship, which he held scarcely nine months; for he was 
slain in battle by William the Bastard. After him the nobles 
would, but for the bishops, who would not support them, 
have chosen Edgar king — and he was so chosen by some, 
as the king had commanded. So speaks William. But it 
seems to me that they did wrong in this, both before God and 
the people : before God, because one whom He had preferred 
for the kingship, by his birth, from so many kings, his fore- 
bears, begotten, as he was, in the rightful line of descent, it was 
not lawful for them to reject, nor unjustly to rob him of his 
patrimony — guiltless, as he was — with their tongues sharper 
than any sword ; for they knew that a king's boyhood, or old age, 
or even his weak-mindedness, stands firm upon the fealty and 
submissiveness of his subjects; — and before the people, inasmuch 
as, to their own confusion, and to the eternal reproach and 
scandal of all the inhabitants of the kingdom, they set up over 
themselves, not according to the justice of law, but following 
their heart's desires, a man without the least right to reign. 
Harold, son of Godwin, son of Edric (of whom, not the fame, 
but the infamy is noticed in various writings), appointing that 
useless member king over them, in the stead of the rightful head. 
Whence it came to pass that, shortly after, they wandered in 
wretchedness and sorrow through strange countries, having been 
driven out of their own homes, and having nowhere to lay their 
heads ; as says the prophet : — They that do evil shall be driven 
out of their borders; but they that abide the Lord shall 
inherit the land. So the Lord himself, for a happy omen to the 
Scots, freely joined to their royal line that holy royal line which 
was thus kept up by them, though not forsaken by Him. For 
He wished that they should inherit the land and reign together ; 
and from them, by His providence, from that time even until 
now, have sprung forth, and shall spring forth as long as they 
shall please Him, kings sitting on the kingly throne. From the 
following vision, which was revealed to Saint Edward, when in 
the agonies of death, it is evident that the clergy did wrong in 
the above matter. After he had lain, says William, two days 
speechless, in a deep sleep, his speech was loosed, and, " I saw," 
said he, " two monks standing beside me, who, I knew, lived 
religiously in Normandy, and died happily. They began by 
saying that they were the messengers of God, and then spake 
as follows : — ' Since the chiefs of England, leaders, bishops, and 
abbots, are not the ministers of God, but of the devil, God hath 
delivered this kingdom, after thy death, into the hands of the 
enemy, for a year and a day; and devils shall wander over 

198 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

all this land/ " And when the king said that he would show 
these things unto the people, so that, like the Mnevites of old, 
they might repent, " Neither of these two things," said they, 
" shall come to pass : for neither shall they repent, nor shall God 
have mercy on them" — and so forth. William also says: — 
Thus the English — who, had they been united in one mind, could 
have retrieved the ruin of their country — would have no one 
of their own people, and so brought in the stranger. 


How William the Bastard's coming to England was hrought 
aho2it — Sai7it Faternus, the Scot. 

But William the Bastard, count of Normandy, hearing that 
Harold had usurped the kingdom of his cousin Edward, was 
goaded on by various causes to come to England. Eirst, because 
of the breach of the treaty which they had contracted between 
them by oath: for Harold had pledged himself to give William the 
castle of Dover at that time, and the kingdom of England after 
Edward's death ; while William had promised that Harold 
should wed his daughter, who was still under age. Next, be- 
cause Harold's father, Godwin, had treacherously put to death his 
cousin Alfred, together with many Englishmen and Normans at 
Ely — all his comrades except every tenth man, being beheaded. 
Also, because this Godwin had banished out of England the 
archbishop Robert and Earl Odo, together with all the French. 
Being therefore irritated on account of these and other matters, 
he gathered his forces together from all sides, and sailed over 
into England ; and, on the 14th of October 1066 — the tenth year 
of the emperor Henry and king Malcolm — he deprived this same 
Harold of his kingdom and his life together, in a slight and 
ill-contested battle at Hastings. In the second year of this 
emperor, Padbrunna (Paderbom), a city of Germany, was burnt 
down, together with its cathedral. In a monastery of monks in 
that same city, there was a certain Scot, Paternus by name, who 
had long been a recluse, and had oftentimes foretold this fire. 
In a certain Teutonic city, says Feier Damianus, there was a 
servant of God, named Paternus, living shut up in a little 
cell hard by a monastery. To him it was revealed that unless 
the people made haste to appease God by repentance, the whole 
city would perish by fire within thirty days! The vision was 
noised abroad, but they would not be converted. He, however, 
bade them take away all the valuables of the monastery, that 


they might be saved ; and at length a fire burst out suddenly 
in seven parts of the city, and burnt the whole city and the 
monastery to ashes. But when the fire had reached the little 
cell of the man of God, and he was asked to come forth, he 
would not; but intrusting all to the judgment of God, he 
and his little cell were burnt up. In the year of William 
the Bastard's arrival in England, a comet was seen ; whence 
a rhymer says : — 

" In the year one thousand and six and sixty more, 
A comet's tresses streamed o'er England's shore." 


Wretched and treacherous lives led hy the English hefore 
William's arrival. 

William has sorrowfully stated, in his Chronicle, the cause of 
the sad slaughter of the battle of Hastings, wherein, through 
that cause, the English lost their kingdom ; and it has been 
thought proper to put it in also into this chronicle, that our 
chieftains may take example therefrom, and learn to take heed 
lest, at any time, they be burdened by besetting sins of such 
kind and so great — far be it from them ! — that they be, like 
him, unable to withstand their foes in battle. That was a fatal 
day to England, says William, a mournful downfall of our dear 
country, in passing over to its new lords. For it had before been 
used to the manners of the Angles, which had altered a good 
deal, according to the times. In the first years of their arrival, 
they were savage in look and manner, of warlike habits, heathen 
in their customs; but afterwards, when they had embraced 
Christ's faith, little by little, as time went on, in proportion to 
the ease in which they lived, did they put the use of arms in 
the second place, and turned their thoughts entirely to religion. 
To say nothing of the poor — even kings, who from the great- 
ness of their power could over-freely indulge in pleasures, 
took to the frock, some of them in their own country, some 
of them at Kome, and won a heavenly kingdom, and gained 
a life of bliss. What shall I say of so many bishops, hermits, 
and abbots ? Does not the whole island blaze with so many 
relics of natives, that you can scarcely pass a village of any 
consequence but you hear the name of some new saint ? Never- 
theless, afterwards, in course of time, for a good many years 
before the arrival of the Normans, the upper classes, given up 
to gluttony and wantonness, went not to church in the morn- 


ing after the manner of Christians, but, in their chambers, and 
in the arms of their wives, barely listened to a priest who 
hurried through the rites of matins or the mass. The com- 
monalty, left unprotected in their midst, became the prey of 
the most powerful — who amassed heaps of treasure, by either 
swallowing up their substance, or selling their persons into far 
off lands. There was one custom of theirs repugnant to nature : 
many of them, when their maid-servants were with child by 
them, and had glutted their lust, were wont to sell them either 
to some common brothel, or to service abroad. The clergy, con- 
tented with a smattering of letters, could scarcely stammer out 
the words of the sacraments ; and one who knew grammar was 
an object of wonder and astonishment to the rest. The monks 
made a mockery of the rule of their order by fine clothes and 
every kind of food without distinction. Drinking-bouts were 
indulged in by all, who continued nights as well as days in 
that occupation. They eat till they brought on surfeiting, and 
drank till they were sick ; whence there followed the vices 
which wait on drunkenness, and unman the minds of men. So 
it came to pass that, when they engaged William with more 
rashness and headlong fury than military skill, they themselves 
and their country sank into slavery by one, and that by no 
means a hard-fought, battle. For nothing is more bootless than 
rashness ; and what is begun with a rush, soon ends, or is 
checked. But as God, in His mildness, often cherishes the bad 
with the good in quietness, so does He in His sternness, some- 
times fetter the good with the bad in bondage. 


Happily for the Scots, Edgar Atheling and his sister Margaret y 
afterwards Queen of the Scots, land in Scotland. 

So Edgar Atheling, says Turgot, seeing that everywhere 
matters went not smoothly with the English, went on board 
ship, with his mother and sisters, and tried to get back to the 
country where he was born. But the Sovereign Ruler, who 
rules the winds and waves, troubled the sea, and the billows 
thereof were upheaved by the breath of the gale ; so, while the 
stonn was raging, they all, losing all hope of life, commended 
themselves to God, and left the vessel to the guidance of the 
waves. Accordingly, after many dangers and huge toils, God 
took pity on His forlorn children, for when no help from man 
seems to be forthcoming, we must needs have recourse to God's 


help — and at length, tossed in the countless dangers of the deep, 
they were forced to bring up in Scotland. So that holy family 
brought up in a certain spot which was thenceforth called Saint 
Margaret's Bay by the inhabitants. We believe that this did 
not come about by chance, but that they arrived there through 
the providence of God Most High. While, then, the aforesaid 
family tarried in that bay, and were aU awaiting in fear the 
upshot of the matter, news of their arrival was brought to 
King Malcolm, who at that time was, with his men, staying not 
far from that spot ; so he sent off messengers to the ship, to 
inquire into the truth of the matter. When the messengers 
came there, they were astonished at the unusual size of the 
ship, and hurried back to the king as fast as they could, to 
state what they had seen. On hearing these things, the king- 
sent off thither, from among his highest lords, a larger embassy 
of men more experienced than the former. So these, being wel- 
comed as ambassadors from the king's majesty, carefully noted, 
not without admiration, the lordliness of the men, the beauty 
of the women, and the good-breeding of the whole family ; and 
they had pleasant talk thereon among themselves. To be brief 
— the ambassadors chosen for this duty plied them with ques- 
tions, in sweet words and dulcet eloquence, as to how the thing 
began, went on, and ended ; while they, on the other hand, as 
guests newly come, humbly and eloquently unfolded to them, in 
simple words, the cause and manner of their arrival. So the 
ambassadors returned ; and when they had informed their king 
of the stateliness of the older men, and the good sense of the 
younger, the ripe womanhood of the matrons, and the loveliness 
of the young girls, one of them went on to say : — " We saw a 
lady there — whom, by the bye, from the matchless beauty of her 
person, and the ready flow of her pleasant eloquence, teem- 
ing, moreover, as she did, with all other qualities, I declare to 
thee, king, that I suspect, in my opinion, to be the mistress 
of that family — whose admirable loveliness and gentleness one 
must admire, as I deem, rather than describe." And no wonder 
they believed her to be the mistress ; for she was not only the 
mistress of that family, but also the heiress of the whole of 
England, after her brother ; and God's providence had predes- 
tined her to be Malcolm's future queen, and the sharer of his 
throne. But the king, hearing that they were English, and 
were there present, went in person to see them and talk 
with them ; and made fuller inquiries whence they had come, 
and whither they were going. For he had learnt the English 
and Eoman tongues fully as well as his own, when, after his 
father's death, he had remained fifteen years in England ; where. 


from his knowledge of this holy family, he may happen to have 
heard somewhat to make him deal more gently, and behave 
more kindly, towards them. 


King Malcolm weds Saint Margaret — He gladly welcomes all 
English fugitives. 

The king, therefore, says Turgot again, when he had seen 
Margaret, and learnt that she was begotten of royal, and even 
imperial, seed, sought to have her to wife, and got her : for 
Edgar Atheling, her brother, gave her away to him, rather 
through the wish of his friends than his own — nay, by God's 
behest. For as Hester of old was, through God's providence, 
for the salvation of her fellow-countrymen, joined in wedlock 
to King Ahasuerus, even so was this princess joined to the most 
illustrious King Malcolm. Nor was she, however, in bondage ; 
but she had abundant riches, which her uncle, the king of 
England, had formerly given to her father, Edward, as being his 
heir (whom also the Koman emperor, Henry, himself, had sent 
to England, as we stated a little ago, graced with no small gifts), 
and a very large share thereof tlie holy queen brought over with 
her to Scotland. She brought, besides, many relics of saints, 
more precious than any stone or gold. Among these was 
that holy Cross, which they call the black, no less feared thaii 
loved by all Scottish men, through veneration for its holiness. 
The wedding took place in the year 1070, and was held, with 
great magnificence, not far from the bay where she brought up, 
at a place called Dunfermline, which was then the king's town. 
For that place was of itself most strongly fortified by nature, being 
begirt by very thick woods, and protected by steep crags. In the 
midst thereof was a fair plain, likewise protected by crags and 
streams ; so that one might think that was the spot whereof it 
was said : — " Scarce man or beast may tread its pathless wilds." 
Malcolm, says William, gladly welcomed all the English fugi- 
tives, affording to each such protection as was in his power — to 
Edgar, to Stigand, Archbishop of Canterbury, and to Aldred of 
York — but especially to Edgar, whose sister he made his con- 
sort, out of regard for her old and noble descent. On his 
behalf, Malcolm harried the border provinces of England with 
fire and rapine. This king Malcolm, with his men, and Edgar, 
Marcher and Waldeof, with the English and Danes, often 
brooded over that nest of oppression, York, the only stronghold of 


rebellion ; and there they often killed William's leaders, whose 
deaths I should, perhaps, not be doing too much were I to 
recount one by one. These two, Stigand and Aldred, the chiefs 
of the clergy, had been in London when this Edgar, the son of 
Edward, son of Edmund Ironside, would, after King Edward's 
death, and likewise after William's victory, have been raised to 
the throne by all the others, had they themselves not wickedly 
withstood them. Of them — and of all the rest, I think — was it 
said by the prophet — " Judge ye justly, children of men ! " 
And seeing they judged unjustly, God justly brought again the 
same judgment upon their heads ; so that, being straightway 
ousted from all their property, they sought a place of refuge 
under the wings of him they had unjustly spurned from them ; 
and they secretly arrived in Scotland. 


The Sons and Daughters he begat of Margaret — Ravages he 
commits in England. 

Margaret, says Turgot, was, as already stated, joined in 
wedlock to this most illustrious man, Malcolm, king of the 
Scots, in the year 1070, the fourteenth year of his reign. Some, 
however, have written that it was in the year 1067. Her sister 
Christina, for her part, is blessed as the bride of Christ. Mal- 
colm begat, of Margaret, six sons : namely, Edward, Edmund, 
Ethelred, Edgar, Alexander, and that most vigorous and 
courteous of kings, David ; and two daughters, Matilda, after- 
wards queen of England, and surnamed the good, and Mary, 
countess of Boulogne — of each of whom we shall speak pre- 
sently, in the proper place. Of how great w^orthiness was this 
blessed Queen Margaret in the eyes of God and man, her 
praiseworthy life, death, and miracles, a book written thereon 
wiU show forth to those who read it. So writes Turgot. 
Many a time, however, did the king, from the earliest days of 
William the Bastard's reign even until after his death, march 
into the northern provinces of England, with a strong hand, 
wasting and destroying all things round about ; taking away, 
in a hostile manner, by spoiling and plunder, all that had breath ; 
and consuming with fire and sword, from off the face of the 
earth, all he did not take away for the use of man. He like- 
wise carried off countless crowds of people ; so that there was 
hardly a house or cottage in his kingdom that did not shelter 
some prisoner of the male or female sex. But who can unfold 


and tell how many of these the blessed queen, the king's consort, 
ransomed, and restored to freedom — these whom the violence of 
their foes had carried off from among the English folk, and re- 
duced to slavery ? But the king kept continually coming into 
England, destroying and spoiling ; and laid Northumbria waste 
beyond the river Tees. At length he came to an understanding 
with the nobles of the whole of Northumbria, after having slain 
Walcherius, bishop of Durham, and many others, at Gateshead. 
The whole country, except some castles, surrendered to him, 
and all the inhabitants submitted and swore fealty to him. 
Now, though Malcolm was bound to do homage to William 
the Bastard for twelve towns situated in England, he threw 
off his allegiance on some provocation from certain Normans, 
and, in his fearful raids, heaped upon them these unbearable 
disasters which they well deserved. About the twelfth year 
of Henry IV., says Vincentius, the Scots kept making inroads 
upon England on one side, and the French on the other ; and 
the English were wasted by famine to such a degree, that some 
fed on human flesh, and many on horse-flesh. 


The Northumbrians give hostages to King Malcolm, and cleave to 
him — He routs William's brother, Odo, 

At that time King William, after he had got the king- 
dom, and arranged everything to his satisfaction, besieged the 
castle of Dol, in the parts beyond the sea, and was forced to 
raise the siege by the strong hand of the French king, Philip. 
Eobert Curthose, also, his eldest son, made war upon his father 
in aid of King Philip ; for William would not give him Nor- 
mandy, as he had promised him in that king's presence. A few 
days afterwards, however, peace was established, and William 
and his son were reconciled. Now while William was still in 
Normandy, news reached him that some of the dwellers in his 
borders — the inhabitants of North umbria, to wit — had gone 
over from him to King Malcolm ; so, to get them back, he sent 
against them, with a large force, his brother, Odo, bishop of 
Bayeux, whom he had made earl of Kent. The Northumbrians, 
however, having already given hostages to King Malcolm, held 
fast to the Scots ; and, after wasting their country, Odo went 
back to the south. Malcolm pursued the retreating Odo, in- 
flicting some loss on his troops ; and, pouring his host about 
the banks of the river Huniber, he destroyed the lands of the 


Normans and English round about, with incredible slaughter, 
and returned to his native land with booty and spoils without 
end. But King William, unable to brook the never-tiring in- 
roads of this outbreak, sent his son Kobert to Scotland, to make 
war upon King Malcolm. Eobert, however, achieved nothing ; 
and, on his return, built Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For long after 
William liad invaded England, many Northumbrian and southern 
lords, being supported by the help of the Scots, for many 
years held the city of York and the whole country, and made 
frequent inroads and most cruel outbreaks against the Nor- 
mans across the river Humber. Now Earl Waldeof, Siward's 
son, whom King Malcolm always held his most faithful friend, 
and whom King William feared above all the English who had 
withstood him, was craftily entrapped by the latter, by a 
marriage with his niece Judith, and taken ; and after he had 
long kept him in chains, William bade him be beheaded. His 
dead body was brought down to Croyland, and buried there. 
And God there showed that it is a true opinion which asserts 
that his death w^as wrongful; for, in His mercy. He works 
numberless miracles through him. Waldeof, singly, to use 
William's own words, had cut down many of the Normans, at 
the battle of York — cutting off their heads, as they marched in 
one by one through the gate. He had sinewy arms, a brawny 
chest, and was tall and sturdy in his whole body ; and they 
surnamed him Bigera, a Danish word which means strong. But 
King William, coming back from his expeditions across the sea, 
in the fifteenth year of his reign, laid the whole of Northumbria 


Virtuous and Charitable works of King Malcolm and the Queen. 

I WILL here shortly repeat somewhat of the virtuous works 
and almsgiving of that high-minded King Malcolm, as Turgot 
bears witness in his Legend of the Life of the blessed queen. 
For, as David the prophet sang in the Psalm, *' with the holy 
shalt thou be holy," even so did the king himself learn, from the 
exhortations of the holy queen, to rejoice in holy works, and to 
keep his heart from iniquity. Doubtless he was afraid in any 
way to shock that queen, so estimable in her life, when he saw 
that Christ dwelt in her heart ; and would rather hasten with 
all speed to obey her wishes and wise advice. Whatever, also, 
she eschewed he was wont to eschew ; and in his love, to love 


whatever she loved ; and he learnt, by her example, oftentimes 
to pass the watches of the night in prayer, and most devoutly 
to pray to God with groans and tears from the heart. I confess, 
says Turgot, I confess I wondered at that great miracle of God's 
mercy, when I sometimes saw the king's great earnestness in 
prayer, and such great compunction in praying in the breast of 
a layman. In Lent, and the days of Advent, before Christmas, the 
king, unless prevented by great press of secular business, was 
wont, after he had gone through matins, and the celebration of 
the mass at daybreak, to come back into his chamber, where he 
and the queen would wash the feet of six beggars, and lay out 
something to comfort their poverty. Meanwhile, as the poor 
became more numerous, it became customary that they should 
be brought into the king's court ; and while they sat round in 
a row, the king and queen would walk in, and the gates be shut 
by the servants. Thus, except the chaplains, some monks, and 
a few servants, no one was allowed to be present at their alms- 
giving. Then the king on the one side, and the queen on the 
other, served Christ in the poor, with great devoutness hand- 
ing them meat and drink specially prepared for that purpose. 
Indeed the king and queen were both equal in works of charity 
— both remarkable for their godly behaviour. After this, the 
king was wont to busy himself anxiously with things of this 
world, and affairs of state ; while the queen would go to church, 
and there, with long-drawn prayers, and tearful sobs, heartily 
offer herself a sacrifice unto God. So far Turgot. 


Deatli of William the Bastard — He could not go to his grave 
without challenge — Good understanding come to between 
William Bufus, son of William, and Malcolm — Virtues of 
Malcolm and his queen. 

In the thirty-first year of King Malcolm, William the Bas- 
tard, king of England, died at Rouen ; and his body was taken 
down the Seine to Caen. Thence, says William, might be seen 
the wretchedness of earthly vicissitude ; — that man, formerly 
the glory of aU Europe, and more powerful than any of his 
predecessors, could not, without challenge, find a place of ever- 
lasting rest. For a certain knight, to whose patrimony that place 
belonged, loudly protested against the robbery, and forbade the 
burial : saying that the ground was his own, by right of his 
forebears ; and that the king ought not to rest in any place wliich 


he had seized by force. Whereupon, at the desire of Henry, the 
only one of his sons who was there, a hundred pounds of silver 
were paid to this brawler, and set his audacious challenge at 
rest. In the same year of our Lord — namely, 1087 — his son 
William Rufus succeeded to the English throne, and reigned 
' thirteen years. In the fifth year of his reign, he and his brother 
Eobert combined against their younger brother Henry, and 
during the whole of Lent, laid siege to Mount St. Michael, across 
the sea; but without success. At length peace was made 
between them ; and William, coming back with his two brothers, 
encountered King Malcolm, who was laying Northumbria waste. 
Peace was then made between them, by Earl Eobert, on these 
terms : that the king of Scotland should obey King William ; 
that William should restore to Malcolm the twelve towns the 
latter had held under William's father ; and that Malcolm also 
should give twelve golden merks a year. This King William, 
when about to fight against his brother in Normandy, put an end 
to the war, says William, without achieving what he had aimed 
at ; and as the turbulence of the Scots and Welsh called him 
away, he betook himself to his kingdom, with both his brothers. 
He then at once set on foot an expedition, first, against the 
Welsh, and then, against the Scots ; but he did nothing striking 
or worthy of his greatness, and lost many of his knights, both 
killed and taken prisoners. At that time, however, through the 
efforts of Earl Eobert, who had long since gained the good 
graces of the Scots, a good understanding was brought about 
between Malcolm and William. Nevertheless there were many 
disputes on both sides, and justice wavered by reason of the 
fierce enmity of the two nations. This same Malcolm fell, the 
second year after, rather through guile than force, by the hand 
of the men of the Northumbrian earl Eobert Mowbray. Now 
when his wife, Margaret, a woman remarkable for her alms- 
giving and her modesty, got news of his death, she was sick of 
lingering in this life, and prayerfully besought God for death. 
They were both remarkable for their godly behaviour — but she 
especially. For during the whole of her lifetime, wherever she 
might be, she had twenty-four beggars whom she supplied with 
food and clothing. In Lent, forestalling the chanting of the 
priests, she used to watch all night in church, herself assisting 
at triple matins — of the Trinity, of the Cross, and of St. Mary ; 
and afterwards repeating the Psalter, with tears bedewing her 
raiment and upheaving her breast. Then she would walk 
out of church, and feed the poor — first three, then nine, then 
twenty-four, at last three hundred — herself standing by with 
the king, and pouring water on their hands. So far William. 

208 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Foundation of the Church of Durham hy Malcolm — Siege of tlie 
Castle of Murealden hy the same — He and his Son slain there. 

This King Malcolm, practising these and the like works of 
piety, as we read in Turgot, began to found and to build the 
new church of Durham — this same King Malcolm, William, 
bishop of that church, and Turgot, the prior, laying the first 
stones in the foundation. He had likewise, long before, founded 
the church of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline, and endowed it 
with many offerings and revenues. But when he had, in his 
wonted manner, many a time carried off much plunder out of 
England, beyond the river Tees — from Cleveland, Kichmond, and 
elsewhere — and besieged the Castle of Alnwick (or Murealden, 
which is the same thing), smiting sore those of the besieged 
who made head against him, those who had been shut in, being 
shut out from all help of man, and acknowledging that they had 
not strength to cope with so mighty and impetuous an army, 
held a council, and brought to bear a novel device of treachery, 
on this wise : — One, more experienced than the rest, mighty in 
strength, and bold in deed, offered to risk death, so as either 
to deliver himself unto death, or free his comrades from death. 
So he warily approached the king's army, and courteously asked 
where the king was, and which was he. But when they ques- 
tioned him as to the motive of his inquiries, he said that he 
would betray the castle to the king ; and, as a proof of good 
faith, he canied on his lance, in the sight of all, the keys there- 
of, which he was going to hand over. On hearing this, the 
king, who knew no guile, incautiously sprang out of his tent 
unarmed, and came unawares upon the traitor. The latter, who 
had looked for this opportunity, being armed himself, ran the 
unarmed king through, and hastily plunged into the cover of a 
neighbouring wood. And thus died that vigorous king, in the 
year 1093, on the 13th of November, to wit — Saint Brice's day. 
The army was thus thrown into confusion. And grief was heaped 
upon grief: for Edward, the king's firstborn, was mortally 
wounded, and met his fate on the 15th of November, in the 
year above noted — the third day after his father — at Edwardisle, 
in the forest of Jedwart. He was buried beside his father, 
before the altar of the Holy Cross, in the Church of the Holy 
Trinity, at Dunfermline. King Malcolm, after he was killed, 
says William, for many years lay buried at Tynemouth ; and 
he was afterwards conveyed to Scotland, to Dunfermline, by his 
son Alexander. 



Death of Saint Margaret — Siege of the Castle of Maidens hy 
Donald, the King's hrother, who invades the Kingdom — 
Flight of the King's Sons oiU of the Kingdom. 

When the queen, who had before been racked with many in- 
firmities, almost unto death, heard this — or, rather, foreknew it 
through the Holy Ghost — she shrived, and devoutly took the 
Communion in church ; and, commending herself unto God in 
prayer, she gave back her saintly soul to heaven, in the Castle 
of Maidens (Edinburgh), on the 16th of November, the fourth 
day after the king. Whereupon, while the holy queen's body 
was still in the castle where her happy soul had passed away to 
Christ, whom she had always loved, Donald the Eed, or Donald 
Bane, the king's brother, having heard of her death, invaded 
the kingdom, at the head of a numerous band, and in hostilewise 
besieged the aforesaid castle, where he knew the king's rightful 
and lawful heirs were. But, forasmuch as that spot is in itself 
strongly fortified by nature, he thought that the gates only 
should be guarded, because it was not easy to see any other 
entrance or outlet. When those who were within understood 
this, being taught of God, through the merits, we believe, of the 
holy queen, they brought down her holy body by a postern on 
the western side. Some, indeed, tell us that, during the whole 
of that journey, a cloudy mist was round about all this family, 
and miraculously sheltered them from the gaze of any of their 
foes, so that nothing hindered them as they journeyed by land 
or by sea ; but they brought her away, as she had herself before 
bidden them, and prosperously reached the place they wished — 
namely, the church of Dunfermline, where she now rests in 
Christ. And thus did Donald come by the kingdom, having 
ousted the true heirs. Meanwhile Edgar Atheling, brother to 
the just mentioned queen, fearing that it might be with his 
nephews as the common saying is, " Trust not the sharer of thy 
throne," thought it, therefore, safer to take them away for a 
time, than to intrust them to their uncle, that they might reign 
with him ; — for every one seeks a partner in sin, but no one 
does so in the kingship. Wherefore he gathered together the 
sons and daughters of the king and of the queen, his sister, 
and, secretly bringing them over with him into England, sent 
them to be brought up by his kinsmen and acquaintances, 
not openly, but in hiding, as it were. For he feared lest the 
Normans — who had, at that time, seized England — should try 



to bring evil upon him and his, seeing that the throne of 
England was their due by hereditary right ; and, though he 
had stayed there in secret, as it were, for a short time, yet it 
was told the king that he was mixed up in treason against him. 
And thus what he dreaded befell him on this wise. 


An Englishman, Orgar hy name, cTiallen^es Edgar Atheling to 
single combat for treason against King William II. 

At that time, while William ii. was reigning, a certain re- 
creant English knight, Orgar by name, wishing to curry favour 
with the king, came forward and challenged this Edgar Clito, 
that is, of glorious hirth — for so they called him — for treason 
against the aforesaid King William. Thereupon the cause was 
brought before the king, for Edgar was begotten of the kingly 
stock, and was, by rights, the nearest to the English throne. 
So the king, thinking that he had good reason to beware, 
upheld the plaintiff with his kingly might and protection ; nor 
could there have been any doubt as to Edgar's sentence, if 
the offence he was charged with could have been proved. 
This made Edgar anxious; and he began busily to inquire 
whether any one would dare to take up his cause either by 
word or counsel. But, though he promised a reward, fear of 
the king stood in his way : because the nobility believed they 
could not, with impunity, side with him ; for they would have 
incuiTed the king's hatred by defending him. While he was in 
suspense, therefore, and downcast with deep anxiety, a knight 
of Winton, named Godwin, an Englishman by birth, and of 
no mean blood, being not unmindful of Edgar's ancient 
parentage, engaged to lend him his help in this awkward 
matter. Now the day fixed for the settlement of this cause 
was already at hand. There, straightway, stood the plaintiff, 
with his supercilious bearing — who, because he seemed to 
excel in bodily strength, and by reason of his skill in war, in 
which he was well versed, deemed that no one was his match in 
battle. Moreover, the king's favour heightened this conceit; 
and he was thereby so puffed up that he believed he could 
easily prove whatever he chose to lay to another's charge. 
Since, therefore, he had thus challenged him, Edgar was forced 
to defend himself in single combat, or to get another to fight in 
his stead ; for, by getting a judgment in this way, he hoped to 
establish the truth of the matter. Godwin, therefore, having 


taken up Edgar's cause, by means of an oath on either side, as 
is customary, stood forth as Edgar's champion. Soon there 
was much warlike arraying on either side, and they came 
together to battle. Orgar, puffed up with the king's favour, 
and hedged about with the king's hangers-on, marched on- 
wards glittering with arms showily bedight. Godwin, on the 
other hand, entered the lists with a no less confident heart, 
though he was not, like his opponent, backed up by the leaders 
who sided with the king. Now Godwin, though he dreaded 
the king's wrath for upholding the opposite side, nevertheless 
rightly deemed that he owed it to nature to take up the cause 
of one who, as he knew, ought naturally and rightly to have 
dominion over him and the rest, as their leader. And hence he 
upbraided the challenger with just reproof: inasmuch as the 
latter, being an Englishman by birth, seemed to fight against 
nature; for that he ought to reverence Edgar as his lord, as 
being, by right of birth, one to whom he owed himself and all 
he had. But when a herald had imposed silence on all, the 
judge threw within the lists the wagers of battle of both, and 
appealed to God, from Whom nothing is hid, to show forth the 
truth in this cause. So the matter was, in the end, referred to 
arms, and the cause to the Supreme Judge. 


H| Duel — The Challenger is slain by Godwin of Winton. 

They each went at the other, without loss of time, — the 
plaintiff and the defendant. Soon stroke followed stroke on 
either side. Orgar charged, and while the other received the 
blow upon his shield, tore off a good piece of the shield. Nor 
was Godwin idle, for his wrath was kindled by that heavy 
stroke ; and, while the other incautiously bent down his shield, 
he rose to the stroke, and dealt him a blow between the head and 
shoulder, hewing through the knots of his corslet, and that bone 
which joins the left shoulder to the neck. But by this blow 
the sword-hilt was loosened, and cheated the striker's hand ; so 
the sword slipped out of the hand that held it. When his foe 
perceived this, though he was badly wounded, and his left hand 
was disabled, yet he plied his adversary more sorely, and thought 
to have disabled him the more easily that the latter lacked 
the aid of that wherewith especially he was to have fought. 
But that hope beguiled its lord ; for Godwin, though his adver- 
sary withstood him with his whole might, thrust forward his 


shield, and between the dreadful blows of the striker, picked up 
from the ground the sword that had just slipped from his grasp. 
But, as he could not grip it tight because of the thinness of the 
hilt, he grasped the edge of the sword with the first and second 
fingers ; and though he could not, in striking, hurt his adversary 
without hurting himself, yet he seemed not behind his adversary 
in thrusting and showering deadly strokes. For he neither 
gave way before the attacks of his foe, nor left off his blows. 
With one stroke, indeed, he put out his adversary's eye, and 
cut his head open ; and, with a second, he wounded so sore the 
remaining part of his false foe's body, and brought it to nought, 
that Orgar no longer tried to keep his feet, but fell grovelling 
on the ground, almost dead. And now, with great clattering 
of armour, Godwin nimbly set his foot upon his prostrate foe, and 
all at once the enemy's treachery and cunning now came out, 
and were laid bare, and he was openly found guilty of perjury : 
for, he drew out a knife, which was hidden in his boot, and 
strove to stab Godwin ; whereas, before the conflict was begun, 
he had sworn that he would carry no weapons in this duel but 
such as became a knight. But he soon paid the penalty of his 
perjury. So, when the dagger was wrested from him, and hope 
forsook the guilty man, he straightway confessed his crime. 
This confession, however, was of no use to him in prolonging 
his life; for he was stabbed all over, wound after wound, 
until the violent pain and deep wounds drove out his ungodly 
soul. When the chances, therefore, of this battle were thus 
at an end, all wondered and were praising the righteous 
judgment of God, — seeing that, while the challenger was over- 
thrown, he who was the defender of truth and innocence did 
not get a single wound from his assailant. And thenceforth, 
by reason of his signal display of valour, he became a great 
favourite with both king and leaders ; and the king even granted 
him the lands and property of his worsted foe in posses- 
sion by hereditary right. But Edgar Atheling, also, being 
thus proved most faithful to the king, became, moreover, his 
great friend ; and the latter, furthermore, endowed him with 
many gifts and honours. 



Duncan, Malcolm's illegitimate so7i, wrests the kingdom from his 
uncle Donald — His death — Donald recovers the kingdom — At 
this time the King of Norway takes 'possession of our Isles. 

Now when the throne of Scotland had been usurped by- 
Donald, King Malcolm's lawful heirs — that is to say, Edgar, 
Alexander, and David, who, though the least in years, was 
nevertheless endowed with the greatest virtue — tarried in 
England through fear of him. For, as stated below, the king's 
three other older sons were not then living. Edward, as 
was said, was slain with his father. About Ethelred I find 
nothing certain, in any writings, as to where he died or was 
buried ; except that, as some assert, he lies buried in Saint 
Andrew's Church at Kilremont. Edmund, a vigorous man, 
and devout in God's service, after his death was buried at 
Montacute, in England. William, however, has written that 
Edmund's death happened otherwise, as will be seen afterwards 
in the sequel. Meanwhile Duncan, King Malcolm's illegitimate 
son, when he was with King William Kufus, in England, as a 
hostage, was by him dubbed knight; and, backed up by his help, 
he arrived in Scotland, put his uncle Donald to flight, and was 
set up as king. But when he had reigned a year and six months, 
he fell slain at Monthechin by the Earl of Mernys, by name 
Malpetri, in Scottish, Malpedir, through the wiles of his uncle 
Donald, whom he had often vanquished in battle ; and he was 
buried in the island of lona. After his death, Donald again 
usurped the kingship, and held it for three years ; while he had 
reigned for six months before Duncan. And thus after King 
Malcolm's death, so sad for the Scots, these two — Donald and 
Duncan, to wit — reigned five years between them. Now 
William, writing about the aforesaid Edmund, says : — Of the 
sons of the king and Margaret, Edmund was the only one who 
fell away from goodness. Partaking of his uncle Donald's 
wickedness, he was privy to his brother Duncan's death, having, 
forsooth, bargained with his uncle for half the kingdom. But 
being taken, and kept in fetters for ever, he sincerely repented ; 
and, when at death's door, he bade them bury him in his 
chains, confessing that he was worthily punished for the crime 
of fratricide. While these, then — namely, Donald, Duncan, and 
Edgar, too — were struggling for the kingdom in this wise, the 
king of the Noricans (Northmen), Magnus, the son of King Olave, 


son of King Harold surnamed Harfager, sweeping the gulfs of 
the sea with a host of seamen, subdued the Orkneys to his 
dominion, and the Mevanian islands, both of Scotland and 
England (Man and the Western Isles), which, indeed, for the 
most part, used to belong to Scotland by ancient right. For 
the Scots continued, without any break, to hold these same 
islands from the time of Ethdacus Eothay, Simon Brek's great- 
grandson, who was the first of all the Scots to dwell in the 
islands — about five hundred years before the Scottish king 
Fergus, son of Feradach, entered the soil of Albion — even until 
now, for a space of nearly two thousand years. 


Return of Malcolm's sons from England — Flight of Donald 
from battle. 

Meanwhile, when Edgar Clito saw that Donald had wickedly 
usurped the throne of Scotland, which, by right, belonged to his 
nephews, and that he would not restore it, though more than 
once besought thereto by ambassadors, by a friendly inter- 
vention, he was stirred to wrath. So he gathered together 
from all sides a vast number of his friends, and being 
strengthened by the aforesaid King William's help, set out 
against Donald in order to drive him out, and appoint, as king 
of Scotland, his nephew, Edgar, a younger son of King Mal- 
colm and his sister Margaret. While, therefore, young Edgar 
was hastening towards his native soil, and was in fear of the 
turbulence of his foes, Saint Cuthbert stood before him, in the 
stillness of night, and said : — " Fear not, my son ; for God has 
been pleased to give thee the kingdom. And this shall be a 
token unto thee : When thou shalt have taken my standard with 
thee from the monastery of Durham, and set it up against thine 
adversaries, I shall up and help thee ; and thy foes shall be 
scattered, and those that hate thee shall flee before thy face ! " 
When the young man awoke, he reported the matter to his 
uncle Edgar ; and, committing himself and all his friends to 
God and to the patronage of Saint Cuthbert, he carried out, 
with a stout heart, what the saint had encouragingly bidden 
him do. When, afterwards, the armies met, and Saint Cuth- 
bert's standard was raised aloft, a certain knight of English birth, 
named Robert, the son of the aforesaid Godwin, and the heir 
and rival of his father's prowess, being accompanied by only two 
knights, charged the enemy, and slew their mightiest, who stood 



out, like champions, in front of the line of battle. So, be- 
fore the armies had neared one another, Donald and his men 
were put to flight ; and thus, by the favour of God and the 
merits of Saint Cuthbert, Edgar happily achieved a bloodless 
victory. See how a faithful home-born people is afraid to with- 
stand its true and liege lord — and so forth, as already shown 
in Chapter viii. Let, therefore, the lawless usurpers of king- 
doms beware, and shrink from leading a faithful people to war 
against their lawful and liege lord, or his heir, any more than 
a good son against his father. But Edgar, being now in better 
heart, revived the manly courage of his men — though, indeed, 
that was not needed — and marched into the kingdom of his 
fathers, which rightfully belonged to him ; and, as he marched 
in, the kingdom was joyfully offered him by the inhabitants, 
with none to hinder or gainsay; and he accepted it, and 
governed it gloriously ever after. 


' Accession of King Edgar, Malcolm's son, to the Throne — Donations 
made to Saint Cuthhert 

f In the year 1098, therefore — the forty-second of the Emperor 
Henry, — Edgar, son of King Malcolm and Margaret, suc- 
ceeded his uncle Donald, and reigned nine years and some 
months. Donald himself, indeed, was by him taken prisoner, 
blinded, and doomed to perpetual imprisonment. Now, when 
Edgar had been peacefully raised to the throne, and had under- 
taken to order all things according to his will, he remembered 
that saying of Solomon's, " In the days of prosperity be not 
unmindful of adversity." So he was not unmindful of his 
leader. Saint Cuthbert ; and gave, granted, and confirmed to the 
monks of Durham, in perpetuity, his estate of Coldingham, with 
all the pertinents thereof. This princely man ani bounti- 
ful king likewise heaped gift on gift ; for he gave and confirmed 
in possession to the bishop of Durham and his successors, the 
noble village of Berwick, with its appurtenances. This great 
gift of the king's the whole bishopric thankfully received, and 
held it in happy peace ; until Ranulf, the bishop, proved him- 
self unworthy of it — and justly so — on this wise. While King 
Edgar was on his way to William ii., king of England, that 
Eobert, son of Godwin, of whom mention was made above, 
tarried, with the king's leave, on an estate the king had given 
him, in Laudonia (Lothian) ; and while he was seeking to build 


a castle there, he was at last, all of a sudden, beset and taken 
by the countrymen and barons of Durham — and that same 
Bishop Eanulf was at the bottom of it. In being thus taken, 
however, he left a signal remembrance of his bravery among the 
dwellers in the whole country. Now when Edgar, on his 
return, heard of this, he brought Eobert, who had been set free 
by order of the king of England, back with him to Scotland, 
in great honour; and whatever he had previously given the 
bishop, he took back to himself — being thoroughly well advised 
therein. In the eleventh year of King William ii., says William, 
Magnus, king of the Noricans (Norwegians), who has been spoken 
of above, subdued by his arms the Orkney Islands, the Me- 
vanian, and whatever other islands lie in the sea ; and while he 
was steadily making his way to England, by Anglesea, he was 
met by Hugh Earl of Chester, and Hugh Earl of Shrewsbury, 
and driven out by their arms. Hugh of Shrewsbury fell there. 


Marriage of Edgar's sisters, Matilda to Henry King of Englaiid, 
and Mary to Eustace Count of Boulogne — Their sons and 
daughters — Edgar's death. 

Now this King Edgar was a sweet and amiable man, like his 
kinsman, the holy King Edward, in every way ; using no harsh- 
ness, no tyrannical or bitter treatment towards his subjects ; but 
ruling and correcting them with the greatest charity, goodness, 
and loving-kindness. In the fourth year of his reign, on the 
2d of August, William Rufus, king of England, having gone out 
hunting in the New Forest, was unknowingly, and without malice 
aforethought, slain by Walter Tirel, a knight from over the sea, 
while the latter was letting fly a shaft at some wild beast. The 
king fell without uttering a word afterwards, thus in one short 
hour atoning for many misdeeds. He was at once deserted by 
all his train ; and being carried away on a cart by some country- 
men, he was buried under the tower at Winchester. He was 
succeeded in the kingship by his younger brother Henry, sur- 
named Beauclerk, to whom this King Edgar, the same year, gave 
his sister Matilda to wife. She was anointed and consecrated 
queen the following Martinmas, by Archbishop Auselm. But 
Mary, his younger sister, Edgar gave in marriage to Eustace 
the younger. Count of Bouillon. The characters of these sisters, 
and their good deeds, will be afterwards, in this little book, in 
some wise shown forth to whoever would know somewhat there- 


of. But this same Henry, king of England, begat, of Queen 
Matilda, a son named William ; who, when seventeen years of 
age, together with his illegitimate brother Eichard, his sister and 
niece, Eichard, Earl of Chester, and many nobles, both men and 
women, as well as 140 knights and 50 seamen, was drowned in 
the sea at Barbefloth, while coming back to England from Nor- 
mandy with his father. The king barely escaped with a few 
followers. The king likewise begat, of Matilda, a daughter 
named Matilda; who, worthy of an empire by her wisdom, 
beauty, and wealth, wedded Henry, the Eoman emperor. To 
this Matilda, Henry, king of England, her father, made all the 
English lords swear fealty, before he crossed the sea a second 
time ; for he had no heir to the throne but her. Then the afore- 
said Eustace, Count of Boulogne, begat of the aforesaid Mary, 
Queen Matilda's sister, a daughter, likewise named Matilda, 
who married a man of great vigour, begotten of a stock equally 
of kings and of consuls, Stephen, Count of Mauritania (Moriton), 
King Henry's nephew, and afterwards king of England. Though 
I pass over the daughters, I hold up the mothers as a pattern 
to all living. For, while beset by the pomps of this world, 
they were rich in holy virtues — a thing rarely found ; tended 
the poor of both sexes, of whatever condition they might be, 
as though they were Christ's members ; and most ten- 
derly cherished men of religious orders, clerics, priests, and 
monks, with singleness of love, as their patrons, and men who 
with Christ were to be their judges. But after Edgar had 
reigned nine years and three months in happy peace, as was 
said above, he ended his life at Dundee on the 8th of January, 
and was entombed in the church of Dunfermline, before the 
great altar. 


Accession of his brother Alexander, surnamed Fers — 
His character. 

He was succeeded by his brother Alexander, surnamed Fers 
(fierce), in the year 1107 — the first of the emperor Henry v., 
who wedded Matilda, this Alexander's niece, and daughter of 
Henry, king of England, and the good Queen Matilda. Henry 
held the empire twenty years ; and King Alexander reigned 
seventeen. Now the king was a lettered and godly man ; very 
humble and amiable towards the clerics and regulars, but 
terrible beyond measure to the rest of his subjects ; a man of 


large heart, exerting himself in all things beyond his strength. 
He was most zealous in building churches, in searching for 
relics of saints, in providing and arranging priestly vestments 
and sacred books ; most open-handed, even beyond his means, 
to all new comers ; and so devoted to the poor, that he seemed 
to delight in nothing so much as in supporting them, washing, 
nourishing, and clothing them. For, following in his mother's 
footsteps, he vied with her in pious acts so much, tliat, with 
regard to three churches — Saint Andrew's church at Kilremont, 
to wit, and the churches of Dunfermline and Scone, one of them 
founded by his father and mother, and the other founded and 
erected by himself at Scone, the chief seat of government, in 
honour of the Holy Trinity and the Archangel Saint Michael — 
he endowed them with offerings so many and so great, that his 
descendants rather impoverished them than added unto them ; 
save that his illustrious successor and brother David kept them 
in good condition, and by his gifts raised Dunfermline especially 
— where he himself also rests — and enlarged it by fresh bmldings. 
(Alexander also founded the monastery of Canons of the island 
of Emonia (Inchcolm), by Inverkeithing.) He it was who be- 
stowed the Boar's Chase upon the blessed Andrew. He it was, 
likewise, who gave so many privileges to the aforesaid church 
of the Holy Trinity, at Scone. He had founded and built it 
on the spot where both the Scottish and Pictish kings had 
whilom established the chief seat of government; and, when con- 
structed with a framework of stone, according to the custom of 
that time, he had had it dedicated — to which dedication, by 
strict order of the king, nearly the whole kingdom flocked. 
That church, indeed, with all its pertinents, he freely made over, 
God so ordering it, to the governance of canons-regular called 
from the church of Saint Oswald at Nostle (Nastlay, near Ponte- 
fract), and of the others after them who should serve God, until 
the end of the world. 


Death of his sisters, namely, Queen Matilda and the Countess 
Mary — Their holy acts — Their burial. 

In the eleventh year of this Alexander's reign, his sister 
Matilda, surnamed the Good, queen of England, died on the 1st 
of May, and was buried with honour in the church of the 
Apostle Saint Peter, at Westminster, in London, in the chapel 
behind the great altar. In the midst thereof, on the top of a 


tomb tastefully and cunningly fashioned, with costly work- 
manship, are enshrined the remains of the holy King Edward ; 
and, round about the tomb, kings are buried in state. On this 
queen's virtues some one has written these lines : — 

" Weal brought no joys to her, no sorrow woe ; 
She smiled at woe ; 'twas weal she dreaded so. 
Beauty no frailty brought, nor sceptre pride ; 
Meekness her might, shame did her beauty hide. 
May's opening day, when night enthralled us here, 
Took her away to Day's eternal sphere." 

I also, some time ago, read another epitaph of hers, hung upon 
that same tomb, and written in letters of gold, thus : — " Here 
lies Matilda, the good queen of England, whilom wife of King 
Henry I., and daughter of Malcolm, king of Scotland, and his 
wife. Saint Margaret. She died in the year 1117. A day would 
not suffice to tell of all her goodness and uprightness of 
character." William says : — Matilda, King Henry's wife, 
daughter of Malcolm, king of the Scots, was descended from an 
old and illustrious stock of kings. She was, from a tender age, 
remarkable for holiness ; rivalling her mother in godliness ; 
never allowing anything wrong in her manners, as far as she 
herself was concerned ; and, but for the king's bed, of un- 
blemished chastity, and unscathed even by suspicion. Wrapped 
in hair-cloth under her regal dress, she used, in Lent, to wear 
out the thresholds of the churches with her bare feet ; nor did 
she shrink from washing the feet of the sick, or touching with her 
hands their sores dripping with matter, and, finally, lingering over 
them with long kisses, and laying their table ; and her one 
pleasure was listening to divine service. Amid all this, she 
was snatched away, to the great loss of her country's people — 
but not to her own. Her body was nobly cared for, entering 
into its rest at Westminster ; while her spirit showed, by no 
trifling tokens, that it dwells in heaven. She died, willingly 
leaving the throne after seventeen years and six months. 
Thus far William. But her sister Mary, Countess of Bouillon, 
departed this life in the third year before her sister's death, and 
rests in peace at Saint Saviour's monastery in Bermondsey, on 
the other side of London. Though she had not royal rank, she 
was no less upright than the queen, her sister. Her marble 
tomb, having the images of kings and queens engraved upon it, 
shows forth the descent of her who rests there. On the surface 
of that tomb, an inscription, written in letters of gold, thus 
briefly sums up her life and extraction : — 


" Here the good Countess Mary lies entombed ; 
Whose acts with charity and kindness bloomed. 
Eoyal her blood, she grew in virtue's might ; 
Kind to the poor, dwell she in heaven's height." 

These two sisters, Matilda and Mary, daughters of King Mal- 
colm and Margaret, fitly adorned their high birth by their 
marriage, their gentle demeanour, their great piety, and their 
free-handed dispensing of their worldly goods to the poor and 
to churches. 


Praise of the virtues of that Queen Matilda ; of one good work 
especially, told hy her hr other, King David, to the Abbot 

Whosoever would write about the wondrous glory of the 
good queen Matilda, sister of the said kings, Edgar, Alex- 
ander, and David (whom I shall tell you about), of her vir- 
tuous mind, how zealous and devout she was in divine service 
and sacred vigils, how lowly, moreover, with all her power — 
whosoever would do this, will show forth to us another Hester 
in our times. We have forborne to do this, both on account of 
the magnitude of the subject, and because our knowledge of 
these things is, as yet, too little. I will, however, relate one 
thing she did, which I heard from the mouth of David, a king 
renowned and never to be forgotten, and whereby, in my 
opinion, how she behaved to Christ's poor will be clearly 
enough brought out. When, says he, I was still a youth serv- 
ing at the king's court, one night while I was in my lodging 
with my fellows, doing I know not what, I was called by the 
queen herself to her chamber, and went there accordingly ; and 
lo ! a house full of lepers, and, standing in the midst, the queen, 
who, having laid aside her cloak, and girded herself with a linen 
cloth, put water into a basin, and began to wash and dry their 
feet, pressing them, when dry, between her hands, and kissing 
them most devoutly. "What doest thou, madam?" said I to 
her. " Surely, if the king knew of such a thing, he would never 
deign to touch, with his lips, thy mouth defiled by such rotten- 
ness." She then, smiling, said : — " Who knows not that the 
feet of the everlasting King are to be preferred to the lips of a 
king who must die ? Of a truth, therefor called I thee, that 
thou might, by my example, learn to do such works." Then, 


taking up the basin, " Do," said she, " what thou didst behold 
me doing." At these words, I was sore afraid, and answered 
that I could on no account undergo that. For as yet I knew 
not the Lord, and His Spirit had not been revealed unto me. 
She, however, went on persisting; so I laughed out, "Have 
mercy on me 1" and hied me back to my fellows. Now King 
Alexander, than whom no man was more devoted to the clergy, 
more bountiful to strangers, or more unbending towards his 
own people, paid the debt of nature at Strivelin (Stirling), in 
full health of body and faculties, on the 24th of April 1124, 
and, being taken away from this life, gave up the ghost to 
heaven, and his body to the ground. He was buried in state at 
Dunfermline on the day of Saint Mark the Evangelist, near his 
father, in front of the great altar, after having completed seven- 
teen years and twenty-one days on the throne. 


Accession of the Messed King David — Praise of him and his 
hrothers — He weds Matilda, daughter and heiress of Waldeof 
i Earl of Huntingdon. 

David, the youngest of the sons of Malcolm and Margaret, 
and the pride of his race, succeeded his brother Alexander in 
the year above mentioned — the eighteenth of the emperor Henry 
V. — and reigned twenty-nine years, two months, and three days. 
He was pious and God-fearing ; bountiful in almsgiving ; 
vigorous towards his people ; sagacious in the task he was 
intent upon, of enlarging the kingdom by fair means ; and, in 
short, he shone forth in the beauty of every virtue — whence he 
always abounded in the ripe fruit of good works. How very 
powerful this king was, how many conquests he made, above all 
other kings, by fair means, and how many abbeys and houses 
of God he founded, Baldred, in bewailing his death, will show 
forth truly to the reader, as will be seen below. He, indeed, be- 
trayed no pride in his manners, no cruelty in his words, nothing 
unseemly in what he said or did. There was no king like him 
among the kings of the earth in his day; for he was godly, wise, 
lowly, modest, sober, and chaste, etc. Never, says William, 
have we been told among the events of history, of three kings, 
— and at the same time brothers, — who were of holiness so great, 
and savoured so much of the nectar of their mother's godliness. 
Eor, besides their feeding sparingly, their plentiful almsgiving, 
their zeal in prayer, they so thoroughly subdued the vice that 


haunts king's houses, that never was it said that any but their 
lawful wives came to their bed, or that any one of them had 
shocked modesty by wenching. Before this King David was 
raised to the throne, the king of the English, his sister the good 
Queen Matilda's husband, gave him to wife Matilda, the 
daughter and heiress of Waldeof, Earl of Huntingdon, and Judith, 
who was the niece of the first King William; and, of this 
Matilda, David had a son named Henry, a meek and godly 
man, and of a gracious spirit, in all things worthy to have been 
born of such a father. Meanwhile the empress Matilda, on her 
husband the emperor's death without children, came back to her 
father Henry, king of England ; and the latter afterwards gave 
her to wife to Geofiroy, Count of Anjou, who begat of her a son, 
Henry, the future king of England. On the death of the afore- 
said Henry, king of England, Stephen, Count of Boulogne, and 
his nephew, through his sister, seized the throne, in violation of 
his oath — for he had, during the said king's lifetime, consented 
by oath that the kingdom should go to the king's daughter, the 
empress Matilda. Count Geoffroy was indignant at this, but did 
him little, if any, hurt. 


War waged hy King David against Stephen, King of England — 
Conquest of Northumhria and Cumbria by a Battle fought 
at Allerton. 

When David, king of Scots, and uncle of that empress, heard 
this, he at once rose up against Stephen, and began to lay 
waste the northern regions of England — namely, Northumhria 
and Cumbria. And when he had repeatedly invaded now this, 
now that, region, and plundered them, the nobles of both pro- 
vinces, at the head of a large force, beset him at Allerton (North- 
allerton), on the 21st of August, and there a battle was fought, 
and many fell on either side. At length, when a great multi- 
tude of the English had been slain, the others fled, and many of 
the nobles were carried off prisoners. They all, however, went 
back about the Feast of All Saints, being freed by ransom; while 
Cumbria, as well as Northumhria, and their pertinents, were sur- 
rendered to King David. But King David and King Stephen 
were straightway set at peace on this wise : to wit, that Northum- 
hria should go back to King Stephen, while Cumbria was freely 
left with King David. This peace, however, which was entered 
into between them, lasted only a short time ; for King David 



made ready for war with the Northumbrians. Wherefore Tur- 
stan, archbishop of York, came to the castle of Marchmont — that 
is, Eox burgh — and meanwhile obtained from the king that he 
should not, for the time, lay the country waste. But not long 
after, when the truce came to an end, the country was all sadly 
laid waste, forasmuch as King Stephen would not give it to 
David's son Henry, whom he had begotten of the aforesaid 
Countess Matilda. So the following year — that is, in 1138 — 
on Ash-Wednesday, King Stephen came with a large army to 
Eoxburgh; and being there struck with a sudden panic, he 
straightway returned in shame. Then, again, the following 
year, this King Stephen came to Durham, where he tarried fifteen 
days, to treat for peace ; while King David was at Newcastle. 
They had a solemn interview on the subject of peace ; and, 
at the instance of Queen Matilda, — Stephen's wife, and King 
David's niece through his sister Mary, — they came to an under- 
standing to this effect : namely, that King David's son, Henry, 
should do homage to King Stephen for the earldom of Hunting- 
don, and freely hold the earldom of Northumberland. For 
Matilda, this Henry's mother, was the daughter and heiress of 
Waldeof, Earl of Huntingdon, who was the son and heir of 
Siward, Earl of Northumberland. Now, when King David 
returned from Newcastle, he came to Carlisle, in which town he 
had a very strong keep built, and made the city walls a 
great deal higher. To him, moreover, repaired Henry, his niece, 
the Empress Matilda's son, and future king of England, having 
been sent by his mother ; and he there received the knightly 
belt from King David, having first given a pledge that his heirs 
would at no time lop off any part of the lands which had then, 
through this feud with England, passed under the dominion of 
the Scots. 


David's son Henry weds Ada, daughter of William Earl of 
Warenne — Their Sons and Daughters, and to whom the latter 
were wedded — Henry's death. 

King David's son, Henry, Earl of Northumberland and Hunt- 
ingdon, took Ada to wife, the daughter of the elder, and sister 
of the younger, William, Earl of Warenne, and sister of Eobert, 
Earl of Leicester, and of Waleran, Count of Melent (Melun). 
Her mother was the sister of Radulf, Count of Peronne, and 

224 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

cousin to Louis, king of France. By her he had three sons ; 
namely, Malcolm, the future king of Scotland ; David, who was 
afterwards Earl of Huntingdon and Garviach ; and William, who 
was also to be afterwards king — and as many daughters. One, 
Ada, was given in marriage to Florence, Count of Holland. The 
second, Margaret, wedded Conan, Duke of Brittany and Earl of 
Eichmond, and bore him a daughter, named Constance, who 
was given in marriage to Geoffrey, brother of Eichard, king 
of England. Of her this Geoffrey begat a son, named Ar- 
thur, who was afterwards drowned at sea, a daughter named 
Alice, who conceived of Peter Mauclerk, and bore a son, named 
John, afterwards Duke of Brittany, and another daughter, 
named Eleanor, who perished at sea, with her brother Arthur. 
Earl Henry's third daughter, Matilda, moreover, departed this 
life in the same year as her father. Now this Henry, the king's 
only son. Earl of Northumberland and Huntingdon, a youth of 
comely mien, with his father's virtues budding within him, was 
taken away from this life on the 12th of June 1152, before he 
had completed the years of the first bloom of youth. He was 
a most handsome lad, amiable to all men, the expected succes- 
sor to the throne, a prince of most unassuming spirit, a well- 
disciplined and pious man, devout towards God, and a most 
compassionate guardian of the poor ; in short — to recount all 
his good qualities — he was in all things like his father, save 
that he was a little more fair-spoken. Leaving the three sons 
above mentioned, and two daughters surviving him, he was, amid 
very deep mourning and wailing on the part of both Scots and 
English, buried near Eoxburgh, at the Monastery of Calkhow 
(Kelso), which his father had reared from its very foundations, 
and endowed with ample possessions and great honours. In the 
fourth year of King David, Lothaire was elected to succeed the 
emperor Henry v., and was eleven years emperor. In the 
seventh year of this same David, his wife. Queen Matilda, died, 
and was buried at Scone. The same year, Angus, earl of 
Moray, was, with his men, slain at Strucathrow. In the 
fifteenth year, Conrad iii. succeeded the emperor Lothaire, and 
was fifteen years emperor. The same year died John de 
Temporibus, in the three hundred and sixty-first year of his 
age ; for he was a squire of Charles the Great. At this time, 
likewise, flourished the great teacher, Eichard of Saint Victor, 
the Scot. In the eighteenth year was born to Henry, the king's 
son aforesaid, a son named Malcolm, who was to be king ; in 
the nineteenth, David, afterwards earl ; and in the twentieth 
"William, who was, likewise, to be king. 



King David bids his grandson Malcolm, Henry* s son, he taken 
about through the kingdom, and proclaimed as the future 
King — David's death to he bewailed, not on his own account, 
hut for the Scots. 

King David, disguising his sorrow at the death of his only son, 
straightway took Malcolm, his aforesaid son's firstborn, and 
giving him Duncan, Earl of Fife, as governor, bade him be taken 
about, with a large army, through the country, in Scotland, and 
proclaimed heir to the throne. Taking likewise the younger 
brother William, the king came to Newcastle ; and having 
there taken hostages from the J^orthumbrian chiefs, he made 
them all subject to the dominion of that boy. What was done 
then with the third grandson David, or where he was, I have 
not found in any writings. But the king came back, and left 
nothing in disorder, nothing unsettled, in all the ends of the 
kingdom. Then, the following year, after Easter, he went to 
Carlisle, that he might settle the affairs of the west of the 
kingdom also, as of the east ; when, all of a sudden, that godly 
and religious king was smitten with a grievous sickness, and, 
on the 2 2d of May, the Sunday before Ascension-day, in the 
year 1153, after he had ruled the kingdom gloriously for 
twenty-nine years and one month, he died happily, putting off 
his manhood, and surrendering his body to the earth, and his 
soul to the fellowship of angels in heaven. He was buried in 
state in tlie pavement before the high altar of the church of 
the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline, which, first founded by his 
father and mother, had been added to in property and buildings 
by his brother Alexander, while he himself also had loaded and 
endowed it with more ample gifts and honours ; and he was 
laid there, at a good old age, beside his parents and brothers. 
His memory is blessed through all generations ; for there never, 
from time immemorial, arose a prince like him. He was so 
devout in divine service, that he never missed saying and hear- 
ing, day by day, all the canonical hours, and even the vigils for 
the dead. And this also was praiseworthy in him — that, in a 
spirit of prudence and firmness, he wisely toned down the 
fierceness of his nation ; and that he was most constant in 
washing the feet of the poor, and merciful in feeding and cloth- 
ing them. He, moreover, behaved with lowliness and homeliness 
towards strangers, pilgrims, and regular and secular clergy ; and 

VOL II. p 


most lavishly gave them gifts of his bounty. For he was a glo- 
rious king, fed and clad with everyday thrift ; and, in holiness 
and integrity of life and in disciplined behaviour, he showed 
himself on a level even with votaries of religion. And, in sooth, 
his life, worthy to be praised — nay, to be wondered at — by all, 
was followed by a precious death. Therefore, whosoever aims at 
dying a happy death, let him read the life of this king so dear 
to God, and the following lament on his death ; and, by the 
example of his most happy death, let him learn how to die. 


Preface to the Abbot Batdred's Lament on King David's death — 
Praise of Henry, king of England, forasmuch as King David 
sprang from his family, and was knighted by him. 

Here follows the Preface to the Lament of the Abbot Baldred 
of Rivaulx, on King David's death ; which he wrote in sorrow 
and wailing, and sent to the son of that David's niece, the 
empress — namely, Henry, who was to be king of England — 
that he might, by his example, learn the way to live aright, as 
well as to die blessed : — 

To the most illustrious Henry, Duke of Normandy, and 
Count of Aquitaine and Anjou, brother Baldred, by some 
called Ethelred, the servant of Christ's servants who are at Ri- 
vaulx — greeting and prayers. — So much is virtue in accordance 
with nature, and vice opposed to her, that even the vicious will 
praise and think well of virtue; nor will even the vicious 
palliate vice, if it follow upon the judgment of man's reason. 
For Vice, blushing herself, as it were, at the foulness inborn in 
her, always seeks a lurking-place, and longs for secrecy ; while 
Virtue, on the other hand, alive to her own comeliness and grace, 
is at all times dancing and tripping it, only from her lowliness 
avoiding the common gaze, and shrinking from the witness of 
man. Since, therefore, the love of virtue and the hatred of 
vice dwell by nature in a reasoning soul, whoever strives after 
virtue and good behaviour easily draws and turns unto him the 
love of all men. Hence is it, most illustrious sir, that the fame 
of thy virtue has sunk deep into the minds of many who have 
not seen thee with their eyes ; for it is a wonder, no less than 
a delight, to all to find, at such an age, so much wisdom ; amid 
such allurements, so much self-restraint ; in matters so great, so 
much foresight ; in so lofty a station, such austerity ; in such 
austerity, such kindliness. For who is not amazed that a youth. 


who is struggling for the throne should eschew rapine, forbear 
from slaughter, keep from setting on fire, bring no hardships 
upon the poor, preserve peace and respect towards priests and 
churches ? Whence thou art not unworthily proclaimed by all 
the glory of Anjou, the bulwark of Normandy, the hope of 
England, and the pride of Aquitaine. This alone is left — 
that thou should acknowledge Christ Jesus as the bounteous 
Dispenser of these gifts, and long for Him as thy Keeper. But 
I, indeed, bethinking myself of whose seed thou art sprung from, 
give thanks unto the Lord my God for that, in such fathers* 
stead, such a son has shone, like a fresh flood of light, upon us. 
And though all thine ancestors' virtues have met in thee, yet I 
rejoice, above all, that the spirit of David, the most Christian 
king of Scots, rests within thee. For I deem that it was 
through God's Providence it came to pass that King David's 
pure hands girded thee with the knightly belt, that, through 
them, the grace of Christ might pour into thee the virtue of that 
king's chastity, lowliness, and godliness. And as, sorrowing for 
his recent death, I have shortly, less as a historian than as a 
mourner, summed up his life and character, according as my 
feelings wavered between love and fear, hope and grief, I am 
anxious to address this lament unto thee, taking thee, in my 
inmost heart's love, as the heir of his godliness. And when 
thou have read therein his praiseworthy life and precious death, 
imitate thou the former, that thou may be worthy to rival the 


Beginning of the Lament, for all his people had reason to 
bewail him. 

The God-fearing and pious King David has passed away from 
this world. Though he has found a place worthy of his soul, 
yet his death bespeaks our wailing. For who, but he who 
grudges peace and prosperity to mankind, would not mourn 
that a man the world stands so much in need of, should have 
been withdrawn from human affairs ? Young men and maidens, 
old men and children, put on sackcloth, and sprinkle yourselves 
with ashes ; let your crying be heard on high, and your wailing 
in the heavens. priests of the Lord, and ministers of your 
God, — weep ye between the sacristy and the altar ; for he has 
departed from you, who was wont to cheer you, to clothe you 
twice over, to endow you with gifts, and exalt you with 
honours. Nevertheless, weep ye not over him, but weep ye 


over yourselves and your sons. Indeed, even now the Spirit 
tells me he is resting from his troubles : for his works follow 
him. Therefore no evil has befallen that best of men ; if any 
has befallen, it has befallen us. But how can I say — " If any 
has befallen " ? Alas ! it is beyond belief how great an evil 
has befallen us ; for we have lost a man who lived not for him- 
self but for all men, cared for all men, and looked to the well- 
being of all men ; the guide of manners, the chider of wickedness, 
the encourager of virtue ; whose life was the mould of lowliness, 
the mirror of righteousness, and the pattern of chastity. He 
was a meek king, a righteous king, a chaste king, a lowly king. 
Who would find it easy to say how profitable he was unto the 
life of man — he whom meekness had made loveable, righteous- 
ness terrible, chasteness calm, and lowliness affable ? And 
if all these things are deemed most worthy of praise in any 
private person, how much more so in a king, to whom power 
gives freely what is unlawful, whose faults his underlings 
eagerly ape and fawningly applaud — while impunity gives 
boldness, and lust sharpens and kindles wantonness ? For the 
sinner is praised by sinners for the desires of his heart ; the 
unrighteous speak well of him who worketh unrighteousness. 
Who, then, is this, that we may praise him ? For he has done 
wonders who could transgress in his life, and transgressed not. 
Who is like unto thee among the kings of the earth, best of 
kings ; who didst show thyself poor amidst gold, lowly on a 
throne, chaste among pleasures, mild in arms ? — who didst be- 
have to the people with moderation, to knights as an equal, to 
priests as an inferior, becoming aU things to all men, that thou 
might counsel all men to virtue. 


Lament continued — He was beloved by God and man, and under- 
took the Sovereignty rather because of others* need than 
through lust of power. 

Justly, therefore, is the remembrance of thy name sweet to 
our hearts, soothing to our feelings, celebrated in our discourse ; 
for that title fits thee well — " beloved of God and man ;" and 
thy memory is blessed. David was truly beloved of God, Who 
directs the meek in judgment. Who teaches the mild His ways. 
That mild and lowly-hearted God loved, forsooth, the meek and 
godly king, rewarding his uprightness at a great price even in 
this life, not sparing the misdeeds of his life, now punishing, 


now recompensing ; but always giving heed to the object of his 
wishes, and thus always hearkening unto him to his well-being. 
So didst Thou, Lord, hearken unto him — so, God, didst Thou 
bestead him, even though taking vengeance on all his devices. 
For in him was surely fulfilled, to the very letter, what is written 
in the Psalm, " The meek shall inherit the earth, and delight in 
fulness of peace." Now, we know that he sought not the king- 
ship, but shrank from it ; and that he rather undertook it because 
of others' need, than greedily seized and entered upon it through 
lust of power. Hence he so shrank from those services which, 
after the manner of their fathers, are rendered by Scottish men 
on a king being newly raised to the throne, that it was with diffi- 
culty that the bishops could get him to receive them. But, on 
his elevation to the kingship, he betrayed no pride in his be- 
haviour, no cruelty in words, no unseemliness in deeds. Hence, 
all the savageness of that nation became meekness, and was soon 
overlaid with so much kindliness and lowliness, that, forgetting 
their inborn fierceness, they bowed their necks under the laws 
which the king's meekness laid down, and thankfully welcomed 
a peace until then unknown to them. Nor did that meekness 
seem slack or slothful ; for, in punishing the wicked, it yielded 
in all things to justice, so that the king should not seem to bear 
the sword in vain ; and he kept his meekness in his heart, lest 
he should seem not to wreak judgment, but rather to humour 
his impulses. I believe that he never, without a heart sore 
bruised, wreaked vengeance even on those who had been guilty 
of treason towards him. We have often seen him beat his 
breast, and shed tears, in punishing robbers and traitors ; so as 
to make it manifest that, in punishing the guilty, he, as the 
administrator of the laws, obeyed justice, but gave not way to 
fierceness. Therefore he, as being meek, not unjustly inherited 
the earth — more of it than any of his ancestors were masters of, 
in our day ; and he delighted in fulness of peace between savage 
nations, which were set against each other by differences of 
tongue and manners, and were most unfriendly one to the other, 
because of the slaughter and wounds each had dealt to the other 
— a peace which he settled with so much tact, and kept with 
so strong a will, that we have hardly ever seen such a treaty 
preserved for so long a time even between kindred nations, and 
men of the same blood and tongue. 



Lament continued — Bishoprics and Monasteries founded and 
endowed hy him. 

He excelled in this, it seems to me — that he so kept within 
bounds on either side that, for all the strictness of his justice, 
he was beloved by all, and for all the mildness and mercy of 
his justice, he was feared by all ; although he always longed 
rather to be loved than feared. Hence he seemed not unde- 
servedly beloved by God and man. He was plainly beloved by 
God ; for at the very outset of his reign, he diligently 
practised the things of God, in building churches and founding 
monasteries, to which, also, he gave increase of property and 
wealth, as each had need. For, whereas he had found only 
three or four bishops in the whole kingdom of the Scots, while 
the other churches tottered on without a chief pastor, with both 
morals and substance going to wrack and ruin, at his death he 
left twelve bishoprics, what with the old ones he restored, and the 
new he reared. He also established and left monasteries of divers 
orders — the Cluniac, the Cistercian, the Tyronensian, the Aro- 
venian, the Prsemonstratensian, the Belvacian — namely, those 
of Calkhow (Kelso), Melrose, Jedwart (Jedburgh), Newbotill 
(Newbattle), Holmcultrane, Dundrennan, the monastery of Holy- 
rood at Edinburgh, those of Cambuskenneth and Kinloss, and 
a monastery of holy nuns close to Berwick, as well as many 
others full of friars. Among these he was even as one of them- 
selves ; praising goodness, and well-pleasing, and perfect ; — and 
if haply anything less worthy of praise cropped up, he would 
be ashamed, and would disguise it; submissive to all men, 
caring for all men ; lavishing much, and exacting nothing. Oh ! 
sweet soul, whither art thou gone away, whither fled? Our 
eyes seek thee, and cannot find thee ; our ears are listening to 
hear the voice of thy mirth, the voice of lowliness, the voice of 
shriving, the voice of comforting — and lo, it is hushed. Where 
is that most gentle look which beamed so mildly on the poor, 
so meekly on the holy, so mirthfully on thy companions ? 
Where are those eyes so full of godliness and grace, wherewith 
thou wast wont to rejoice with the joyful, and to weep with 
those that wept ? What do ye, my eyes, what do ye ? Why 
do ye not unfeignedly bring forth that wherewithal ye are in 
labour, and give vent to that ye hide within you ? Shed ye 
tears day and night, and spare not ; for this shall be my delight 
in remembering my sweetest lord and friend. Nor do I mourn 
alone. I know there are, mourning with me, priests and 


clerics, whom he revered as fathers. There are holy nuns 
mourning, — and monks, whom he took to his bosom as brothers. 
There are, mourning, knights, whose comrade — and not their 
lord — he acknowledged himself. There are, mourning, widows, 
whom he shielded ; the fatherless, whom he cheered ; the poor, 
whom he sustained ; the wretched, whom he cherished. 


Xament continued — He was the comforter of the sorrowing and 
the father of the fatherless. 

He was, indeed, the comfoi-ter of the sorrowing, the father of 
the fatherless, and the ready judge of the widow. For while he 
intrusted the other business of the country to other judges, he 
always kept for himself what concerned the poor and the 
widows. He heard, he defended, he judged them. Nor was 
any poor man, widow, or orphan, who wanted to lay any 
grievance before him, forbidden to walk into his presence ; but 
as soon as they were shown in by the usher, — even though the 
king were engaged in the most important and urgent matters 
or deliberations, with any persons, great or small, — he would 
break off everything to hear them. I have even seen him, with 
my own eyes, sometimes, when ready^cT'gd' out hunting, and, 
with his foot in the stiiTup, on the point of mounting his horse, 
withdraw his foot, at the voice of a poor man begging that a 
hearing should be given him, leave his horse, and walk back 
into court, giving up all thoughts of returning to his design for 
that day ; and surpassing, or at least rivalling, the judgments 
of Trajan — that most courteous and princely chief — kindly and 
patiently hear the cause on which he had been appealed to. He 
was, moreover, wont to sit at the gate of the king's court, and 
hear carefully the causes of poor old women, who, on certain days, 
w^ere called up from any part of the country they came to ; and 
he would give satisfaction to each, often after much trouble. 
For they would often wrangle with him, and he with them, 
when he would not admit the person of a poor man to judgment, 
in violation of justice, and they would not listen to reason, as he 
put it to them. I will say nothing of how he won upon the 
feelings of all men by the wondrous courtesy and sweetness of 
his manner, how he suited himself to the ways of all men, so 
that he was neither thought soft by the harsh, nor hard by the 
soft. In short, if it fell out that priest, or knight, or monk, 
rich or poor, citizen or pilgrim, tradesman or peasant, talked 


with him, he conversed with each on his business or duties 
in so seemly and unassuming a tone, that each in turn thought 
the king had his affairs only at heart ; and thus he sent 
them all away merry and edified. For he did his utmost to 
draw on that rough and boorish people towards quiet and 
chastened manners ; so much so that he looked after not only 
the great affairs of State, but all things, down to the very least 
— such as gardens, buildings, or orchards — in order that he 
might, by his example, stir his people up to do likewise. 


Lament continued — He was always anxious to bring hack to 
peace and concord those at variance, especially wrangling 

But, above all things, he was anxious that priests of the Lord, 
especially, and men of religious orders, should be free from feuds, 
as well at home among themselves as with those outside. So 
whensoever strife arose among them — such is man's wretched- 
ness ! — his spirit had no rest, nor had his flesh repose, until 
he had by prayers and coaxing — nay, sometimes by tears, but 
seldom by threats, made them be at peace again, as of yore. 
Nor, in such a cause, was he too proud, humbly, with holy words, 
to bow that kingly head to the knees of such an one as haply 
seemed too unbending on this side ; so that he who could not be 
overcome by kindliness might be overcome by shame. More- 
over, there is truly no need to praise the chastity that was in 
him : for, after he had once entered into wedlock, he was true 
to his wife's bed ; so that not only did he never know another, 
but he never even looked at another unbecomingly ; and, as in 
flesh, so was he pure in mind, hand, thought, behaviour, eyes, 
and speech. For his life was so public, his doings so open and 
above-board, that he was never even singed by ever so light a 
suspicion on this score. Nought about him was hidden but 
liis counsels : and his chamber was open to all, at his sitting or 
lying down, or at his retiring. Hence — wonderful to say ! — 
with so much grace was he endowed by God's power, that, 
after the death of his wife, whom he outlived twenty -three 
years, he never, even in sleep, suffered the wrong of fleshly 
taint. Why tremblest thou, my soul ? Why art thou afraid 
to bring forward such things as are unpleasing — since we must 
not only praise the righteousness of good men, but also com- 
mend their repentance, after any shortcoming ? We have read 


that Aaron, the first high priest under the law, vouchsafed con- 
sent unto the people, who asked that an idol be made unto 
them. Moses himself was pronounced, by the judgment of 
heaven, to have done wrong at the waters of strife. The Scrip- 
ture bears witness that Miriam, the prophetess, was smitten 
with leprosy, for murmuring against Moses. After numberless 
gifts of spiritual graces, holy David, as though forgetful of 
God's goodness, first committed adultery with the wife of his 
faitlifiil servant, whom he afterwards slew through mar- 
vellous treachery. I own it — our David also sinned. He 
sinned, not by defiling himself with any wickedness, but by 
ministering more than behoved him to others' cruelty by his 
might. For when, after the death of his sister's son Henry, 
king of England, he had led an army into England, these wild 
men, bitter foes to the English, raged, beyond the wont of man, 
against the Church, against priests, against either sex, against 
all ages, and wreaked cruel judgments upon them. Now, though 
these things were done against his will — nay, though he forbade 
them — still, as it was in his power not to have brought them, 
not to have brought them again when he had once put them 
to the test, or perhaps to have better kept them under, we own 
with tears that he also sinned. Let others make allowances for 
him by pleading his zeal for justice, by bethinking themselves 
of the oath which he had taken, by asserting loudly that it be- 
seemed his kingly virtue, because he kept his word ; because 
he broke not his oath ; because he bore arms against men for- 
sworn ; because he tried to bring back to the rightful heirs a 
kingdom which their father had made over to them, which the 
clergy and people had confirmed to them by a sworn pledge. 
Haply, the record of this plea had some place in thy pity, good 
Jesus ; but I, knowing that it is good to confess unto Thee, 
have chosen to beg, not to plead — seeking mercy, not challenging 


Lament continued — He would have resigned the Throne, and 
hetaken himself to the spot where Our Lord suffered, had he 
not been turned hack hy the advice of Churchmen, the tears 
of the Poor, the groans of the Widoiv, the desolation of the 
People, and the crying and wailing of the whole Country. 

Theeefoee I say, Enter not into judgment with thy servant, 
Lord ; for in thy sight is no man justified, unless forgiveness 

234 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

of all his sins is vouchsafed him by Thee. For the king him- 
self would rather accuse than excuse himself — would rather 
beat his breast than thrust it forth. We know also that he 
so loathed this sin, and sighed after virtue most zealously, 
that he would have resigned his throne, laid down his sceptre, 
and betaken himself to holy warfare on the spot where Our 
Lord suffered and rose again, had he not been turned back by 
the advice of priests and abbots, the tears of the poor, the groans 
of the widow, the desolation of the people, and the crying and 
wailing of his whole kingdom ; and though he was kept back 
in body, he was not in mind and wishes. He trusted altogether 
to the advice of monks; and keeping beside him some good 
brethren, renowned in warfare for the temple of Jerusalem, he 
made them the guardians of his morals by day and night. I 
pass over his almsgiving, his frequency in prayer, at mass, and 
in psalmody ; for he had been the wonder of all, from childhood 
itself, for his observance of these things. Now this is what 
cheers me in my sorrow, good Jesus — not to be able to say that 
he sinned not, but that he repented, that he wept, that he con- 
fessed; that he followed the advice of Daniel, who said to 
Nebuchadnezzar, " Eansom thy sins with alms, and thine ini- 
quities with mercy to the poor." Moreover, Spring of good- 
ness, and Source of pity, didst Thou not bestead him when 
Thou didst take vengeance on all his devices ? Thou didst 
cliide him, Lord, Thou didst chide him as a father chideth 
his son ; yet in mercy, for in Thy wrath Thou didst not with- 
hold Thy mercy. For Thou gavest him the affection of a son 
amid scourgings, so that he should not murmur nor backslide, 
— nay, should give thanks amid scourgings, saying, with the 
Prophet, " All Thou hast done unto us, Lord, in righteous 
judgment hast Thou done it." These were his words, these his 
feelings, when his host was scattered abroad, when he was 
driven by his own knights to yield to the force of circumstances. 
These were his words when God sent as a foe against him a 
certain mock bishop, who lied and said he was the Earl of 
Moray's son; wherein was clearly enough seen the power of 
God, in whose hand are all the laws of kingdoms, by whose nod 
all things are regulated — the Lord Himself, who maketh peace, 
and createth evil. Let not the wise, therefore, boast of his 
wisdom, nor the strong of his strength ; for the steps of man are 
guided by the Lord, who scourged with the lies of a certain monk 
that invincible king, who had subdued unto himself so many 
barbarous nations, and had, without great trouble, triumphed 
over the men of Moray and of the Islands. Yet, though that 
monk straightway reaped a reward worthy of his works, this 


most Christian king acknowledged the hand of the Lord in all 
these things. 


Lament continued — God scourged him in his Son's death — His 
God and Lord found him watching. 

Lastly, God of vengeance, that his patience might be 
made known unto all, Thou didst pour upon him Thy wrath, 
and all the wrath of Thy fury, chastening him with sore chas- 
tisement, when Thou didst take from him his only son. And 
such a son ! For he was a most comely lad, amiable and sweet 
towards all men, beloved by all who saw him, and inclined to 
all goodness. Lord my God, with what stripes of sorrow 
didst Thou grieve his heart, when he himself bore to the grave 
his only-begotten, whom he had found most loving and like 
himself, and who, he hoped, would have done such a service 
unto him. Nevertheless, while the rest were weeping and 
wailing, this man, in whom nothing was wanting for virtue, bore 
with so much patience the rod of his Father Most High, that 
he both refrained from tears, and, forgetful of himself, took his 
meals with his household, that day, after his royal custom. Far 
be it from us, therefore, to lay this sin at his door ; seeing that 
God's justice punished it in this life — that he himself condemned 
it by the confession of his own mouth — that he washed it with 
his tears — that he atoned for it by his alms — that he cleansed 
it by daily contrition of heart ; himself his own accuser, him- 
self judge against himself, himself his own executioner. " For 
if we judged our own selves," says Paul, " verily we should not 
be judged." Lay down, then, my soul, lay aside thy sadness 
for a while, and muse in gladness of mind on the spirit of the 
end of his life, which he spent so religiously — the spirit where- 
in, being turned unto God with his whole heart, and watching 
with loins girded and lamps burning, he awaited the coming of 
the Lord. He watched — a man who took upon himself to 
judge nothing, to decree nothing, to appoint nothing, without 
the advice of monks and men most upright. He watched — a 
man who gave praise to the Lord seven times a day, and rose 
at midnight to shrive himself unto Him. He watched — a man 
who, with his own hands, this year, daily laid out upon the poor 
quite twice his wonted alms, after the sacred solemnities of the 
mass, and of prayers; and thus, lingering, the rest of the 

236 JOHJ^ OF fohdun's chronicle 

day-time, among clerks and religious brethren, listened, with 
lowly ear, to such things as were unto edification. He watched 
— a man who most wisely made his will a year before he departed 
this life ; and, handing over what treasure he had into the hands 
of monks, intrusted it to their good faith to mete out as he him- 
self had prescribed. He watched — a man who, every Lord's 
day, shrived himself of his sins, and partook of Christ's body 
and blood ; and thus, with ears ever listening for the voice of 
the bridegroom calling, anxiously looked for his coming. 


Lament continued — His Time was all taken up with Prayer, 
Alms, or some seemly task 

In short, when, on account of something our house needed, 
I came into his presence in these holy days of Lent, I own I 
found, in the king, a monk — in the court, a cloister — in a palace, 
the discipline of a monastery. For, certain hours he spent in 
religious duties, intent on psalms and prayers ; and a certain 
time, likewise, he set apart for ministering to the poor. And 
that nothing might be wanting in him for a seemly life, he even, 
at a meet hour, busied himself in some seemly task, such as 
planting herbs, or grafting upon another stock slips cut off from 
their own roots. Finally, after he had taken his meal at the 
right hour, he unbent his mind a little in some sort of religious 
ease, with religious brethren, and a few of the more distin- 
guished men ; and thus, after he had, while the sun was still 
up, gone through the usual service for the dead, when the hour 
of dusk was over, he sought his chaste bed without a word, and 
spoke no more to any one until sunrise. Oh ! happy soul, 
which the Lord, when He came, found thus watching; and 
which, therefore, thus prepared, happily entered into wedlock 
with Him. But lo ! the thought of our unhappiness breaks in 
upon the exultation of my spirit, and the fruit of tears, which 
sympathy brings forth, furrows with renewed grief a face which 
Christian faith and piety had dried. What, therefore, shalt 
thou do, desolate Scotland ! Who shall cheer thee ? Who 
shall take pity on thee ? Thy harp is turned into mourning ; 
and thy pipes into the voice of weeping. Thy lamp is 
quenched; thy heart fainteth; thy manhood droopeth; the 
brightness of thy glory waneth — for he is no more who shed 
his light upon thee, and, of an untiUed and barren land, made 



thee pleasant and plenteous. Thou once, a beggar among lands, 
wast wont, with thy hard sod, to bring hunger upon thine in- 
dwellers ; but now, softer and more fruitful, thou dost, of thy 
fulness, relieve the wants of neighbouring lands. He it is that 
has decked thee with castles and towns, and with lofty towers. 
He it is that has enriched thy harbours with outlandish wares, 
and gathered together the wealth of other countries for thine 
enjoyment. He it is that has turned thy hairy cloaks into 
costly garments, and has covered thy nakedness of old with 
purple and fine linen. He it is that has quelled thy savage 
ways by Christian piety. He it is that has enjoined thee 
wedded chastity, which thou scarcely knewest — nay, even 
wouldst not keep inviolate when once entered upon ; and has 
given a more seemly life unto thy priests. He it is that, by 
word as well as example, has prevailed upon thee to go often to 
church, and to be present at the divine sacrifices ; and has 
made it known that due offerings and tithes should be paid to 
the priests. What then shalt thou bestow in return for all lie has 
bestowed upon thee ? Thou hast, in sooth, some in whom thou 
mayest requite him. Thou hast some to whom thou mayest 
give thanks for the good he did — to whom thou mayest pay the 
good turn which he earned. Thou hast them in his grandsons 
— from whom, haply, God's providence withdrew their grand- 
father's help so soon for nothing else but that thy loyalty 
might be put to the proof, and thy gratitude tested. They are, 
indeed, under age ; but the king's age is reckoned according to 
the loyalty of his knights. Pay ye to the sons what ye owe 
to the father; let them find you thankful for the benefits ye 
have received. 


Lament continued — The trials of the English taught the Scots to 
he faithful to their kings, and preserve mutual harmony 
among themselves. 

Moreover, let the trials of the English teach you to be faith- 
ful to kings, and preserve mutual harmony amongst you ; lest 
strangers eat up your country before your eyes, and the land 
be made desolate as by the ravages of the foe. For, as we read 
in Holy Writ, Joash was seven years old when he began to 
reign in Jerusalem, having been raised to the throne by the high 
priest Jehoiada, with the consent of the priesthood and people ; 
and he reigned better during his more helpless years, under 


the advice of the high priest and the lords, than in his more 
stalwart age, in his own wisdom and power. Even as every 
kingdom divided against itself shall be made desolate, so a 
good understanding between the chiefs is the kingdom's stay. 
The king indeed is dead ; but have ye, in the king's stead, the 
love he earned from you. Let that love dictate laws to you, 
fill up your concord to the brim, and constrain you to keep 
loyalty towards his boys, and friendship towards his allies : else 
heaven and earth will be witnesses against you ; — the angels 
who were guardians of his chastity will be witnesses against 
you ; — the saints ye gave as hostages of your fealty, by swear- 
ing on their relics, will be witnesses against you ; — the king 
himself, who, through love for the boys, looks from that bright 
tract of heaven upon this earthly region, and is worthy of the 
loyalty and constancy of each, he himself will be a witness against 
you. But thou. Lord, King of Sabaoth, who judgest righteously 
and triest the reins and the heart, remember David and all his 
meekness, remember him in the boys he has left behind ; for 
they are bequeathed unto Thee fatherless, and Thou shalt be 
the Helper of the orphans. And thou, sweetest king, be turned 
again unto thy rest ; for the Lord hath dealt well with thee, 
seeing that he snatched thy soul from death, thine eyes from 
tears, and thy feet from slipping. This we take for granted 
from thy pity, good Jesus — of whom it was given him both to 
believe aright, and to live godly, and to die holily. For, as 
will be shown in what follows, a precious death closed his 
praiseworthy life, which, by Thy grace working in him, was 
moulded by the Christian faith. 


Lament continued — On Wednesday y (he 20th of May, he perceived 
thai his dissolution was at hand; and having taken the 
Sacrament of the Lord's Body, he hade them bring forward 
tJie Lord's Cross. 

But when smitten with the sickness whereby he was to be 
released from the flesh, on Wednesday, the 20th of May, per- 
ceiving that his dissolution was at hand, he called his attendants, 
and without hesitation explained to them what he felt was the 
matter with him. But they, in the way men do, fell to com- 
forting the sick man, and went as far as to promise him life 
and health. This most wise king, however, taking no comfort 
at all in the promise of a longer life, begged that such things. 


rather, should be told and advised him, as the exigency of this 
last hour called for. And, as this hour came not upon him 
while he was unprepared, he renewed the will which he had 
made a year before ; correcting certain things that had to be 
corrected, and by the advice of the monks, setting in order, in a 
few words, such state matters as seemed to need setting in order. 
Then turning to himself with his whole heart, he kept earnestly 
commending his last hours to God. And though all his limbs 
were heavy with the weight of illness, nevertheless he walked 
into the oratory, as he was wont, both for mass and for the 
canonical hours. But when, on Friday, his malady began to 
grow worse, and the violence of the disease had robbed him of the 
power of standing as of walking, he summoned the clerks and 
monks, and asked that the sacrament of the Lord's body should 
be given him ; and on their making ready to bring him what 
he had ordered, he forbade them, saying that he would partake 
of those most holy mysteries before the most holy altar. When, 
therefore, he had been carried down into the oratory by the 
hands of the clerks and knights, and the mass had been cele- 
brated, he begged that a cross he reverenced, which they call 
the black cross, should be brought forward for him to worship. 
Now that cross is an hand's breadth in length, wrought out of 
purest gold with marvellous workmanship, and opens and shuts 
like a case. Within it is seen a piece of the Lord's Cross (as 
has often been proved by the evidence of many miracles), with 
Our Saviour's likeness upon it, most handsomely carved out of 
ivory, and wondrously decked with golden ornaments. This 
cross, the pious Queen Margaret, this king's mother, who was 
sprung from the seed of the emperors and kings of Hungary and 
England, had brought to Scotland, and handed down as an heir- 
loom to her sons. So when the king had most devoutly wor- 
shipped this cross, which was no less feared than loved by all 
Scottish folk, and had first, with many tears, shrived himself of 
his sins, he fortified himself for his departure by partaking of 
the heavenly mysteries. 


Lament continued — His Extreme Unction — He threvj himself off 
the bed upon the ground, and took that Sacrament with great 

At last he was brought back into his chamber ; and when 
the priests came to go through the sacrament of Holy Unction, 


he rose up, as best he could, and throwing himself off the pallet 
upon the ground, he received that healing rite with so much 
devoutness that, whenever the clerks chanted a little too 
hurriedly, he checked them by both hand and word, and him- 
self followed every single word, and responded to every single 
prayer. When, therefore, everything had been duly fulfilled, 
he awaited the last day with the greatest quietness of body and 
mind, earnestly entreating his attendants to publish his death 
unto all as soon as he should be gone. " The sooner," said he, 
"my death becomes known, the sooner will God's pity hold 
out some comfort to me, through the good offices of my friends." 
Thus, from that time forth, rapt in God's praises, he subdued 
his drooping limbs to his spirit, which he was, all that day, by 
psalms and prayers, preparing for its departure. But on the 
Saturday — that is, the day before he departed this life — when he 
was reading over the one hundred and eighteenth Psalm, with 
great contrition of heart, and had, in the course of his psalm- 
singing, reached the sixteenth chapter of this Psalm, he groaned 
aloud, as the force of those words sank deep into his soul ; and 
after repeating that chapter seven times, he cried out with in- 
ward emotion, " I have done judgment and justice ; give me 
not over unto mine accusers." For he felt, through the teaching 
of the Spirit, if I mistake not, how he might most safely 
answer the accuser who treads close upon our heel (that is to 
say, our end), what prayers he might offer up to the Judge in 
his own defence ; so he said, " I have done judgment," — and so 
forth. In sooth, he who fulfils the judge's duty against himself, 
softens the stern judge's sentence ; and he who, before death, 
does judgment in truth, fearlessly awaits God's judgment 
after death : wherefore he cried out devoutly, " I have done 
judgment," and so forth. The old accuser came unto Our 
Saviour ; but finding nothing of his own in Him, who has done 
no sin, he departed abashed. What, therefore, shall he do, in 
whom the accuser, when he comes unto him, recognises some- 
thing of his own — that is to say, a sin ? Why, let him, of 
course, cry unto Him in whom the accuser shall find nothing, 
and say, " I have done judgment," and so forth. For there is a 
judgment of the heart, and there is a judgment of the lips, and 
there is a judgment in deed. That most Christian king did 
judgment in his heart, when his conscience pricked him in- 
wardly for his shortcomings. He did it with his lips, when he 
confessed his sins against himself. He did it also in deed, 
when he punished himself with self-imposed smart. He has 
done judgment therefore, by accusing himself; and he has done 
justice by pitying the woes of others. 



Lament continued — In his very sickness, when his life was at 
stake, he remembered the poor, and asked the Cleric, his secre- 
tary, whether he had dispensed the usual Alms that day. 

For what is more just than that he who asks for mercy him- 
self, should show mercy unto the needy ? Now, how lavish that 
man was in showing mercy and lending to the poor, was clearly 
enough shown on that very day, wherein, though he had shut 
out from his breast all worldly anxiety, all cares of state, even 
all feeling for his sons, yet he laid not aside, in such a pass, 
that care which he was wont to take of the poor. In fact, in 
the middle of his psalm-singing, looking round at his cleric 
Nicholas, whom he had found most faithful in keeping his 
treasure and bestowing alms, he stretched forth his arm, and put 
it round the neck of the latter, so that he leant over the pallet ; 
then the king asked him whether the alms he himself was wont 
to give out daily, with his own hands, among Christ's poor, had 
been dispensed that day. And when the latter had told him 
that everything had been done in the usual way, he gave thanks 
unto God, and repeated the psalm he had interrupted. Since, 
therefore, he has done judgment by punishing himself for his 
shortcomings, and has done justice by pitying others, trusting 
in the hope of God's mercy cried he out, " I have done judgment 
and justice ; give me not over unto mine accusers ; " and as 
the remaining verses of this chapter agree with this opening, 
no wonder he dwelt upon these with the most willingness and 
delight. And when he came to the one hundred and nineteenth 
psalm, feeling a something of sweetness and healthfulness 
therein, he repeated that also, like the former, seven times. 
Calling to mind, it may be, what distress he had endured, a 
little before, in the recollection of his sins — what comfort he 
had found in the hope of Christ's mercy, when he thought over 
the judgment and justice which he had done, he cried out, in 
great devoutness of mind, " In my distress I cried unto the 
Lord, and he heard me." But lest that cunning accuser should 
again trump up some guileful tale against him, he added 
what that psalm goes on to say : — " Deliver my soul, Lord, 
from unrighteous lips, and from a deceitful tongue." But what 
shall be given thee, Christian soul, or what shall be added 
unto thee, against a deceitful tongue ? What but the sharp 
arrows of the Mighty One, and coals to spread desolation ! 



Therefore cry thou : — " Take hold, Lord, of weapons and 
shield ; and stand up for my help." 


LaTnent continued — He went on praying while singing Psalms. 

Let God himself hurl back against the enemy his sharp 
arrows, — the spear and the nails wherewith he was pierced upon 
the cross, and stabbed with five wounds, as it were by sharp 
arrows, — ^wounds whereby He, of His freely- vouchsafed goodness, 
healed our wounds, which the enemy had inflicted upon us by 
the gratification of our five senses. What, then, will the deceit- 
ful tongue of the wily serpent cast in my teeth, seeing that He 
who did no sin has borne the penalty of my sin, being wounded 
for our iniquities, and bruised for our misdeeds ? If, therefore, 
to the sharp arrows (that is, faith in Thy suffering, good Jesus) 
be added the coals (that is, the fire of Thy love), the accusing 
enemy is quickly driven back, as is the blight of the sin clean 
swept away. — Then, with a lighter heart, and with many a sigh 
for things above, loathing this earthly estate through contempla- 
tion of the heavenly, he went on to say : " Woe is me, that my 
sojourn is prolonged ! I have dwelt with the dwellers in Cedar; 
my soul hath long dwelt there." But I consider that what 
follows is also very appropriate to him :— " With those that hate 
peace, I am for peace ; when I spake unto them, they fought 
against me without a cause," — inasmuch as he so often spared 
those who betrayed him, and often denied a hearing to such as 
would pledge themselves to prove, by the ordeal of battle, others 
guilty of treason ; and when his friends would say unto him, 
" If thou send these away thus, others will attempt a like mis- 
deed against thee more fearlessly," he would answer that his 
life was not at the mercy of man, but rather was in God's 
power. Accordingly they often returned him evil for good ; and 
while his care was for such things as would bring them peace, 
they would fight against him, — yea, without a cause. Moreover, 
from his repeating these verses seven times — which number, as 
we read, is hallowed by the Holy Ghost — we are plainly 
given to understand that Christ's Spirit itself was there, and 
poured into him the mood of those verses, fostering his drooping 
soul with its power. When, therefore, he was, by those who 
were there, besought to give his spirit rest from the labour of 
singing psalms, " Let me rather," said he, " muse on those things 
which are God's ; that my spirit, about to set out homewards 


from this banishment, may be refreshed by a travelling-store of 
God's Word, For when I shall have been brought up for God's 
judgment, and shall stand trembling, none of you will answer 
for me, none of you will watch over me, nor is there any one 
who can pluck me out of His hand." In such devoutness did he 
reach the close of the day ; and until the night which followed 
it did he linger in great tranquillity. 


Lament continued — On Sunday the 2ith of May, when the sun 
had dispelled the darkness, the King, taking leave of the 
darkness of the body, passed into the joys of the true light. 

Now, on the Sunday which preceded Christ's Ascension — that 
is to say, on the 24th of May — at daybreak, while the sun was, 
with the rays of his light, dispelling the darkness of night, the 
king, emerging from the darkness of the body, passed into the 
joys of the true light, with tranquillity so great that he seemed 
not to have died, and with devoutness so great that he was 
found to have raised towards heaven his two hands joined 
together upon his breast. Come ye and help him, ye saints of 
God ! Come ye and meet him, ye angels of the Lord ! Take ye 
up his soul, worthy of fellowship, with you, and lay it in Abra- 
ham's bosom, with Lazarus, whom he despised not, but cherished 
— with the holy apostles and martyrs, whose remembrance he 
furthered and upheld — with Christ's priests and confessors, 
whom he reverenced in their successors and their churches 
— with the holy virgins, with whom he vied in purity 
— with despisers of the world, of whom he made unto himself 
friends, of the mammon of unrighteousness, and to whom, in 
Christ's name, he humbled himself in all lowliness. Let the 
mother of mercies stand by him — she whose pity is of the most 
avail to him, even as she is more powerful than the rest. But 
I, though a sinner, and unworthy, yet remembering the benefits, 
my sweetest lord and friend, which thou hast lavished upon me 
from my earliest years — ^remembering the favour wherein thou 
didst now, at the last, receive me — remembering the kindliness 
wherewith thou didst hearken unto all my petitions — remem- 
bering the munificence thou hast shown towards me — remem- 
bering the embraces and kisses wherewith, not without tears, 
thou didst send me away, while those who stood by mar- 
velled — for thee do I shed my tears, give loose to my feelings, 
and pour out all my soul. This sacrifice do I offer for thee. 

244 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

thus do I requite thy kindness ; and since this is too little, my 
mind shall, from its inmost marrow, always think of thee in 
that place where the Son is daily offered up to the Father, for 
the salvation of all men — the Son, who with the same God the 
Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth God, ever world 
without end. Amen. 


His Pedigree traced on the Father's side up to Jajphet, son of Noah. 

I THINK it meet in these writings to bring in this glorious 
King David's pedigree on the father's side, which I got long 
ago from the Lord Cardinal of Scotland, the noble Doctor Walter 
of Wardlaw, Bishop of Glasgow ; that it may be known unto 
you, kings of these days, and to all readers, of how old, how 
noble, how strong and invincible a stock of kings he came 
(whereof ye also are come) — ^kings who have, until now, through 
the blessed King Most High, been keeping the kingly dignity 
unspotted for a longer time, with freer service, and, what is 
more glorious, with a stronger hold of the Catholic faith than 
all other kings, save only a few, if any. For that blessed 
King David was the son of the most noble Malcolm, king of 
Scots, the husband of the blessed Queen Margaret, and 

Son of Duncan, 

Son of Beatrice, 

Daughter of Malcolm the Most Victorious, 

Son of Kenneth, 

Son of Malcolm, 

Son of Dovenald, 

Son of Constantine, 

Son of Kenneth, the first sole sovereign ; from whom, as was 
seen in Book iv.. Chapter viii., the royal line is traced to that 
most vigorous king, Fergus son of Erth, who nobly wrested 
the kingdom from the Romans and Picts, after these had usurped 
it, and held it three-and-forty years. 

And that Erth was the son of Euchadius, brother to King 
Eugenius, who was slain by the Romans and Picts. 

Eugenius was the son of Angusafith, 

Son of Fechelmech, 

Son of Angusa, 

Son of Fechelmech Romach, 

Son of Sencormach, 

Son of Crucluith, 


Son of Findacli, 

Son of Akirkirre, 

Son of Echadius, 

Son of Fechrach, 

Son of Euchodius Eeid, 

Son of Conere, 

Son of Mogal, 

Son of Lugtach, 

Son of Corbre, 

Son of Dordremore, 

Son of Corbrefynmore, 

Son of Coneremore, 

Son of Etherskeol, 

Son of Ewin, 

Son of Ellela, 

Son of laire, 

Son of Detach, 

Son of Syn, 

Son of Rosyn, 

Son of Ther, 

Son of Eether, 

Son of Rwen, 

Son of Arindil, 

Son of Manre, 

Son of Fergus, who brought the Scots out of Ireland, and 
first reigned over them in British Scotia ; and the chain of 
whose royal lineage stretches up, as was seen above in Book i.. 
Chapter xxvi., as far as Simon Brek, who brought over with 
him to Ireland, from Spain, the Coronation stone of the kings. 

This Simon Brek was the son of Fonduf, 

Son of Etheon, 

Son of Glathus, 

Son of Nothachus, 

Son of Elchatha, 

Son of Syrne, 

Son of Deyne, 
. Son of Demal, 

Son of Eothach, the first who dwelt in the Scottish islands. 
He was the son of Ogmayn, 

Son of Anegus, 

Son of Fiathath, 

Son of Smyrnay, 

Son of Synretha, 

Son of Embatha, 

Son of Thyema, 

246 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Son of Faleng, 
Son of Etheor, 
Son of Jair, 
Son of Ermon, 
Son of Michael Espayn, 
Son of Bile, 
Son of Neande, 
Son of Bregayn, 
Son of Bratha, 
Son of Deatlia, 
Son of Erchatha, 
Son of Aldoch, 
Son of Node, 
Son of Nonael, 
Son of Iber Scot, 

Son of King Gaythelos and Scota, first king and queen of the 
Scottish nation. Whence this line : — 

" Iber, their son, first bore the name of Scot." 

This Gaythelos was the son of Neolos, king of Athens, 

Son of Fenyas, 

Son of Ewan, 

Son of Glonyn, 

Son of Lamy, 

Son of Etheor, 

Son of Achnemane, 

Son of Choe, 

Son of Boib, 

Son of Jeyn, 

Son of Mayr, 

Son of Hethech, 

Son of Abyur, 

Son of Arthech, 

Son of Aroth, 

Son of Jara, 

Son of Esralb, 

Son of Richaith, 

Son of Scot, 

Son of Gomer, 

Son of Japhet, 

Son of Noah. 



Prologue to his Pedigree on his Mother's side. 

Since, says Baldredy we have, in this lament, given a short 
description of the excellent character of David, the pious king 
of Scots, I have thought it worth while to subjoin, briefly and 
truthfully, his pedigree on the mother's side; so that, when 
ye have seen, successors of his, how great was the prowess 
of your forebears of the same lineage, how in them manhood 
glowed and godliness shone forth, ye may even acknowledge 
that it is but natural for you to abound in wealth, to blossom 
with virtues, to be famous for your victories, and, — what 
is more than all this, — to shine with Christian piety and 
the prerogative of justice. For it is the greatest spur to- 
wards keeping one's character at its best, to know that one 
has gotten nobility of blood from such as were all of the 
best of men ; as a noble mind is always ashamed to be 
found degenerate in a glorious race, and it is against nature 
that bad fruit should grow from a good root. Let me, then, 
starting from King David himself, the most renowned of men, 
and, even as was written above of his father's pedigree, ascend- 
ing, through his most glorious mother, to Adam, the father of 
all mortals, show you the line of our English kinship, as I 
have been able to find it in the truest and oldest histories or 
chronicles ; so that afterwards, passing over the oldest kings of 
England, whose history sheer length of time has swept away, 
we may, on our way back, take the more prominent kings, and 
succinctly touch upon their more lofty deeds. And, when ye 
have seen that their great glory has passed away through death 
and time, while they, through the merits of their lives, have 
earned the heavenly guerdon, which could not perish, ye shall 
learn always to set justice above wealth and worldly glory, that 
after the life which lasts for a time ye may reach the life 


His Pedigree on the Mother's side traced, according to Baldred, 
as far as Shem, son of Noah; and from him to Seth, the son 
of Adam, who is the father of all. 

This most excellent King David, therefore, was the son of 
Margaret, the glorious queen of Scots, who enhanced the splen- 
dour of her name by the holiness of her character. 

248 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Her father was Edward, 

Who was the son of the invincible King Edmund Ironside, 

Whose father was Ethelred, 

Whose father was Edgar the Peaceful, 

Whose father was Edmund, 

Whose father was Edward the Elder, 

Whose father was the noble Alfred, 

Who was the son of King Ethel wlf. 

Who was the son of King Egbert, 

Whose father was Alchmund, 

Whose father was Eafifa, 

Whose father was Aeppa, ^ 

Whose father was Ingels, 

Whose brother was a most famous king, named Ine, 

Whose father was Ceonred, 

Who was the son of Ceowald, 

Son of Cutha, 

Son of Cuthwine, 

Son of Ceaulin, 

Son of Chinrik, 

Son of Creodda, 

Son of Ceordik. This king, after the lapse of forty-six years 
from the first coming of the Saxons into Britain, won a king- 
dom in Wessex ; and, in course of time, his successors conquered 
the other kingdoms of the English. 

Ceordik was the son of Elesa, 

Son of Eda, 

Son of Gewise, 

Whose father was Wige, 

Whose father was Freawine, 

Whose father was Freodegare, 

Whose father was Brand, 

Whose father was Baldege, 

Whose father was Woden, among some called Mercury. He 
had so much weight among his people that they dedicated to 
his name the fourth day of the week, and called it Woden's day. 
This custom is, to this day, still kept up among the English ; 
for they call that day Wednesday. The Koman heathens, in- 
deed, used to call it Mercury's day. 

This pedigree of Baldred's differs in some wise, though 
little, from that which William has given in his Chronicle. 
Now, as the above passage will do for my purpose, I forbear to . 
foUow up the matter any further ; for I have read none but 
the books of these writers upon this genealogy. If, indeed, I 
had seen a third, I should have wished to leave out the odd 
one, and, in the end, follow the two which agreed. 



Coronation of King Malcolm the younger ^ Prince Henry's 
son, called " the Maiden." 

Now all the people took Malcolm, a boy of thirteen — a 
son of Henry, earl of Northumberland and Huntingdon, who 
was the son of King David himself — and made him king 
at Scone, in the room of his grandfather David ; of whom it 
may truly be said : " Prosperity abideth with their seed ; 
their grandchildren are an holy heritage." His brother Wil- 
liam had the earldom of Northumberland in possession, while 
the earldom of Huntingdon was subject unto his youngest 
brother David, as will be seen below. No unworthy successor 
of David, king of Scots, was Malcolm, the eldest of his grand- 
sons. For, treading in that king's steps in many good points, 
and even gloriously outdoing him in some, he shone like a 
heavenly star in the midst of his people. In the first year of 
his reign, Sumerled, kinglet of Argyll, and his nephews — 
the sons of Malcolm Macbeth, to wit — being joined by a great 
many, rose against their king, Malcolm, and disturbed and 
troubled great part of Scotland. Now that Malcolm was the 
son of Macbeth ; but he lied and said he was the son of Angus, 
earl of Moray, who, in the time of King David of happy 
memory, was, with all his men, slain by the Scots at Struca- 
throch (Strickathrow in Forfar), while he was plundering the 
country. Upon his death, this Malcolm Macbeth rose against 
King David, as it were a son who would avenge his father's 
death ; and while plundering and spoiling the surrounding dis- 
tricts of Scotland, he was at length taken, and thrust, by that 
same King David, into close confinement in the keep of March- 
mont Castle. So Sumerled kept up the civil war; but his 
nephew, Donald, one of Malcolm Macheth's sons, was taken 
prisoner, at Withterne (Whithorn), by some of King Malcolm's 
friends, and imprisoned in that same keep of Marchmont, with 


his father. The year after this Donald was taken, his father 
Malcolm made peace with the king, while Sumerled still 
wickedly wrought his wickedness among the people. 


On the death of the English king, Stephen, Henry, duke of 
Normandy, and son of the empress, was anointed king, in the 
second year of Malcolm, king of Scotland. As soon as he was 
raised to the throne, unmindful of his promise and oath, which 
he had formerly sealed with a vow to King David, his mother's 
uncle, he laid claim to Northumberland and Cumberland, which 
had now many years yielded obedience to the king of Scots, 
and was making great ado about invading them ; and he 
also declared that the earldom of Huntingdon was his own 
property. A peace, though a hollow one, was, however, made 
for a time, between those kings ; and, in the meantime. King 
Malcolm came to King Henry at Chester — at whose instiga- 
tion I know not — and did homage to him, without prejudice, 
however, to all his dignities, in the same way as his grand- 
father. King David, had been the old King Henry's man ; 
hoping, some suppose, by so doing, to be left in peaceful pos- 
session of his property. At that place, however, accursed 
covetousness gained over some of his councillors, who were 
bribed, it is said, by English money ; and the king was soon so 
far misled by their clever trickery as, in that same year, to sur- 
render Northumberland and Cumberland to the lang of Eng- 
land, after having consulted with only a few of his lords. The 
king of England, however, restored to him the earldom of Hun- 
tingdon. Now, on account of this, the estates {communitas) of 
all Scotland were, with one accord, roused to stifled murmuring, 
and hatred against their lord the king, and his councillors. 
Meanwhile, these same kings met together, the following year, 
at Carlisle, on some business ; but they took leave of each other 1 
without having come to a good understanding, as most men ; 
could see. Afterwards, however, when a few years had slipped : 
by — that is, in the seventh year of the reign of the king of 
Scots — King Henry led a strong army against Toulouse ; but as 
Louis, king of France, defended the town, Henry was baffled in 
the chief aim he was striving after, and retraced his steps ; and 
thus, out of the most profound peace sprang up the most deep- 
rooted feud. King Malcolm, though against the wiU of many 
of his great men, was with Henry in this expedition ; and, on 
their way back thence, was by him girded with the sword of 
knighthood, in the city of Tours. 



At length the Scottish lords, seeing their king's too great 
intimacy and friendship with Henry, king of England, were 
sore troubled, and all Scotland with them. For they feared 
this intimacy had shame and disgrace in store for them; 
and they strove in all earnestness to guard against this. So 
they sent an embassy after him, saying (or, rather, they thought 
and said within themselves) : — " We will not have this man reign 
over us." Thereupon, he returned from the army at Toulouse, 
and came to Scotland, on account of divers pressing matters ; and 
by his authority as king, he bade the prelates and nobles meet 
together at his borough of Perth. Meanwhile the chief men of 
the country were roused. Six earls — Ferchard, earl of Stratherne, 
to wit, and five other earls — being stirred up against the king, 
not to compass any selfish end, or through treason, but rather 
to guard the common weal, sought to take him, and laid siege 
to the keep of that town. God so ordering it, however, their 
undertaking was brought to naught for the nonce ; and after 
not many days had rolled by, he was, by the advice of the 
clergy, brought back to a good understanding with his nobles. 
He then, thrice in the same year, mustered an army, and 
marched into Galloway against the rebels. At last, when he 
had vanquished these, made them his allies, and subdued them, 
he hied him back in peace, without loss to his men ; and after- 
wards, when he had thus subdued them, he pressed them so 
sore, that their chieftain, who was called Fergus, gave up the 
calling of arms, and sending off his son and heir, Vithred, to the 
king, as a hostage, donned the canonical garb at the monastery of 
Holyrood, in Edinburgh. Meanwhile the king, by the help and 
advice of his friends, gave his sister Margaret in marriage to 
Conan, duke of Brittany, and his sister Ada to Florence, count 
of Holland. Peace, also, was restored between the kings of 
France and England ; and the English king Henry's son, Henry, 
not yet six years old, took to wife the French king Louis's 
daughter, not yet two. 


At this time, the rebel nation of the Moravienses, whose former 
lord, namely, the Earl Angus, had been killed by the Scots, 
would, for neither prayers nor bribes, neither treaties nor 
oaths, leave off their disloyal ways, or their ravages among 
their fellow-countrymen. So having gathered together a large 


army, the king removed them all from the land of their birth, 
as of old Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, had dealt with the 
Jews, and scattered them throughout the other districts of Scot- 
land, both beyond the hills and this side thereof, so that not even 
one native of that land abode there ; and he installed therein his 
own peaceful people. Sumerled, likewise, king of Argyll, of 
whom we have spoken above, impiously fought, for twelve years, 
against King Malcolm, his lord. At length, bent on plunder, he 
brought up at Renfrew with a strong army and very large fleet, 
which he had levied out of Ireland and sundry other places, 
but, through God's vengeance, he was, with his son Gelli- 
colan, and a countless multitude of traitors, slain there by a 
few countrymen. Now, when this King Malcolm grew up, 
and reached the years of youth, he refused to marry, although 
besought to do so by the earls and all the people of his 
kingdom, with all manner of entreaties, and, as far as respect 
for the king's rank would allow, urged to do so ; and, before 
God, he vowed chastity, abiding his whole time in the spotless 
purity of maidenhood. For though, on the strength of his 
kingly rank, he could often have transgressed, yet he never 
did transgress. He harmed none, but wished men well ; was 
pleasant to all, and displeased none; and was very devout 
towards God : for with the whole straining of his mind, and 
all the longing of his inmost heart, did he yearn to reign with 
Christ for ever. Nevertheless, he had many trials and re- 
proaches to bear at the hands of the dwellers in his kingdom, 
according to that saying of Solomon's : " Son, when thou under- 
takest God's service, stand in righteousness and fear, and make 
ready thy soul to the trial." He, indeed, having conceived the 
warmth of the love of God, had set his heart upon heavenly 
things; so that, looking down upon all earthly things, he 
quite neglected the care, as well as governance, of his king- 
dom. Wherefore he was so hated by all the common people 
that William, the elder of his brothers — who had always 
been on bad terms with the English, and their lasting foe, 
forasmuch as they had taken away his patrimony, the earl- 
dom of Northumberland, to wit — was by them appointed 
warden of the whole kingdom, against the king's will ; while 
his younger brother, Earl David of Huntingdon, abode in 

In the year 1165, the thirteenth of King Malcolm's reign, 
at the end of the month of August, two comets appeared 


— one to the south, and the other to the north — which, accord- 
ing to some, foreboded the king's death. A comet is a star 
which appears, not at all times, but chiefly against a king's 
death, or a country's downfall. When it appears with a shin- 
ing diadem of hair, it heralds a king's death ; but if with scat- 
tered tresses glowing red, it forebodes a country's downfall. 
And sometimes it betokens storms or wars, as in these lines : — 

" There is a star bodes storm or war. 
On high when it has crept ; 
And if thou seek its name to speak, 
Boetes 'tis yclept." 

Now Malcolm, being guided by God in the blessings of sweet- 
ness, so that his heart was kindled with the love of the Most 
High, wherewith he was upheld, all his life excelled in bright- 
ness of chastity, in the glory of lowliness and innocence, in 
purity of conscience, and holiness, as well as staidness of 
character ; so that, among laymen, with whom he had nothing 
in common but his dress, he was as a monk ; and among men, 
whom he ruled, he seemed, indeed, an angel upon earth. He 
founded the monastery of Cupar, to the praise of God. But 
when he had completed twelve years, seven months, and three 
days, on the throne, Christ called him away on Thursday the 
9th of December ; so he put off manhood for the fellowship of 
angels, and lost not, but exchanged, his kingdom. And thus 
this man of angelic holiness among men, and like some angel 
upon earth, of whom the world was not worthy, was snatched 
away from the world by the heavenly angels, in the bloom of 
his lily-youth, — the twenty-sixth year of his age. 


This is the vision of a certain cleric, devout towards God, 
and formerly a familiar friend of the king's, about the glory 
of this same King Malcolm, of holy memory. While this 
cleric was devoutly watching at the king's grave, sleep stole 
upon him amid his psalm-singing ; and the king seemed to him 
to be standing by, clad in snow-white robes, with a glad but 
speechless countenance, and not sorrowful; and ever as he 
asked him^ in verse, with one half of each couplet, somewhat of 
his plight, the king would answer each question in verse, with 
the other half of every couplet, to the following effect : — 

Cleric. A king thou wast ; what art thou now ? 
King. A servant once, lo ! now I reign. 


C. Why lingers still thy flesh below ? 

K, My spirit seeks the heavenly plain. 
C. Art thou in torment, or content ? 

K. Nay, not in pain. I rest in peace. 
C. Then what hath been thy punishment ? 

K. A bitter lot ere my decease. 
G. Where art thou, friend ? Where dwells thy sprite ? 

K. In paradise that knows not woe. 
G. Why does thy raiment gleam so white ? 

K. A maid I to my grave did go. 
C. Why answerest so shortly, friend ? 

K. My life is eloquent for me. 
(7. Thy days thou didst in sickness spend, 

K. But now from sickness am I free ! 

G. Why lost we thee ? Why did we part ? 

K. That I might find the saints on high. 
G. What was it grieved thy gentle heart ? 

K. This wicked world is all a lie. 
G. Tell me, when shalt thou come again ? 

K. When the great Judge shall judge at last. 
G. Will Scotia for thy loss complain ? 

K. Not now, but when this time is past. 
G. Wilt leave me now ? What dost thou fear ? 

K. The burden of the life I bore. 
G. Hast thou no word thy friends to cheer ? 

K. Bid them farewell for evermore. 

This most godly King Malcolm fell asleep in the Lord at Jed- 
worth (Jedburgh) ; and his body was brought, by nearly all the 
prominent persons of the kingdom, in great state, to Dunferm- 
line, a famous burial-place of the Scottish kings; — where are 
entombed Malcolm the Great and his consort the blessed Mar- 
garet (his great-grandfather and great-grandmother), and their 
holy offspring. It rests interred in the middle of the floor, 
in front of the high altar, on the right of his grandfather 


Coronation of King William. 

To proceed — after King Malcolm*s death, the prelates and 
all the lords of Scotland met at Scone, at the command of 
his brother William, then warden of the kingdom, and there, 


with one accord, set up the latter as king. So, on Christmas 
Eve, that is, the fifteenth day after the king's death, this Wil- 
liam, the friend of God, the lion of justice, the prince of 
peace, was consecrated king by Eichard, bishop of Saint 
Andrews, with other bishops to help him, and raised to 
the king's throne. In the autumn before the king's death, 
King Henry had led a large army into Wales, which had re- 
belled against him ; but meeting with no success, he put out 
the eyes of King Richard's sons, who had previously been put 
into his hands as hostages, and lopped off the noses and ears of 
his daughters. For he had formerly — eight years before — made 
himself master of that country, as it was thought ; seeing that 
he had then, with great slaughter of his own men, taken host- 
ages of the king and the barons. When, however, he had re- 
turned thence, seeing himself threatened by grievous wars there 
and everywhere, he bethought him of making sure of the steady 
friendship of the Scottish nation ; so he sent word to his War- 
dens of the Marches to bespeak peace rather than war from the 
Scots, and to sound them as to a peaceful understanding. 
Finally, at this juncture, Matthew, count of Bouillon, the con- 
sort of King Stephen's daughter, gathering together a fleet from 
all sides, made ready — it was rumoured — six hundred vessels, 
to man with Flemings, and lead to the invasion of England the 
following year. Therefore there was a great stir made through- 
out England, and everywhere an earnest endeavour to secure 


Now at this time, and even from the time ISTorthumber- 
land was given back to King Henry, there reigned between the 
kingdoms no steady peace, but rather some frail truce, many a 
time broken, and many a time patched up again ; whereby 
the borders of the countries, where they touched each other, were 
sadly crippled. Wherefore, on these and other grounds, an 
agreement was drawn up by commissioners from either country, 
and confirmed by the warrant of each king and of all the lords, 
that, in order to get back Northumberland, and to secure an in- 
dissoluble bond of everlasting peace, William, king of Scots, 
should go to his cousin. King Henry, then at Windsor, awaiting 
his coming thither. This was, accordingly, done. So, on his 
arrival at Windsor, William was welcomed with great re- 
joicings. But just as the kings were talking over their affairs, 
all of a sudden, untoward news from parts beyond the sea burst 
upon King Henry's ears; and when he had got a connected 

256 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

account thereof, he put all business aside, and crossed the sea at 
the head of a huge army. William, king of Scots, however, 
cou]d, by no contrivance of his nobles "who were with him, or of 
any one else, be restrained from setting out with him, against 
the will of all, so that he might witness the shock of brave 
warriors; and in those parts he distinguished himself with 
splendid knightly renown, giving to all men hope of uncommon 
prowess. And thus, having first ratified the truce, he came 
back to his own kingdom with honour, while the treaty of 
peace which was to have been arranged was put off to an ap- 
pointed time of fitting leisure. Afterwards, war broke out 
again between the kings of France and England, about the city 
of Toulouse, and for sundry reasons on both sides ; so that, 
besides many other evils, the earldom of Anjou and the district 
of the Vexin were fearfully ravaged by fire and pillage, while the 
French king, with his army, tarried four days in the Vexin. The 
second year after this, however, peace was again made between 
them, when both kings had undergone many a risk. As a pledge 
of this peace, the French king's other daughter, begotten of the 
daughter of the king of Spain, was given to Eichard, a son of 
the king of England. Richard, moreover, got the dukedom of 
Aquitaine from the king of France ; and did him homage, and 
swore faithful allegiance to him for the honour of the duchy. 
Henry, also, the firstborn of the king of England, got from the 
king of France, the lordship of Brittany, together with the 
districts of Anjou and Cenoman (Maine) — doing homage for 
these, as he had already done for the duchy of Normandy. 


The following year, having done what he had to do across 
the water, this king came back from Normandy; and, in 
this voyage back, many perished by shipwreck, while he 
himself barely escaped. King William, however, in order to 
settle that same matter they had before been engaged in — 
namely, to come to an understanding about arranging a peace — 
came to him at Windsor, on Easter Eve, the day appointed by 
their agents, and was welcomed by him with great honours. 
After the feast, they were closeted together ; and when they 
came to talk the matter over, William asked that Northumber- 
land should be restored to him upon the same terms as the king 
of England had promised it him upon, in their former negotia- 
tion. But, seeing that, as already said, the latter had yielded 
this through fear of wars assailing him, now that these were 
smothered and quieted he felt safer, and refused to give it back. 


Wherefore King 'William went off unappeased, with none of 
his business settled ; and, by hurried and unbroken stages, 
safely came home to Scotland. In that same year, namely, 1170, 
that king had his son Henry, then twenty years old, crowned, 
and consecrated king at Westminster ; overlooking the advice of 
Solomon, who says : — " Lest thou give thine honour unto others, 
and thy years unto the cruel ; lest haply strangers be filled with 
thy strength, and thou mourn at the last." 'Now his crowning 
was the occasion of many afterwards losing their earthly lives. 
For, after an interval of three years, an accursed feud sprang 
up between them. When invested with the royal diadem of 
his father, who was now of his own accord deposed from the 
height of kingship, this new king Henry brooked ill any govern- 
ance or sovereignty of the kingdom above himself ; since, as was 
being said by some, he ought rightfully to reign alone, as though, 
when the son was crowned, the father's reign had ended. So, 
on these and other grounds, he swelled with indignation against 
his father. Then, accompanied by his two brothers, Geoffroy 
and Eichard, he went to his father-in-law, Louis, king of France, 
to brew troubles for his father. And soon, by the advice of Louis, 
he was trying everywhere, like a second Absalom, to bring evil 
upon his father, and, with the most idle promises, kept urging 
William, king of Scots, Philip, count of Flanders, and many 
other powerful men, both in these parts and across the sea, to 
fall away, little by little, from the father to the son, and by 
every means make ready for warlike operations. English and 
Norman noblemen followed them, and, with right hands clasped, 
pledged themselves to do battle. 

The younger King Henry, as already said, trusting in 
the advice, and upheld by the support, of the French, and with 
Philip, count of Flanders, for his ally and companion, led his 
army into Normandy, against his father, and took a castle, 
called Albemarle,, and the Earl of Albemarle himself, as well as 
Earl Simon, whom the elder King Henry had sent to help him ; 
and these earls he kept in a dungeon. He also took a great 
many other towns by storm. In this army, Matthew, count of 
Boulogne, received a deadly wound, and died. King William, 
also, putting faith in the pledges of that new king, who pro- 
mised him Northumberland and Cumberland, levied an army 
for the war, and besieged Wark Castle for some time ; but with 
no success. So he set out thence, and, with the highland Scots, 
whom they caU hruti, and the Gallwegians, who knew not 



how to spare either place or person, but raged after the manner 
of beasts, he laid Northumberland waste, and stripped, in part, 
the land this side of the river Humber, slaughtering the inhabi- 
tants in more than one spot. He then bent his steps towards 
Carlisle, and made every effort to take the city by storm. It 
so happened, however, that at this time Eobert earl of Leicester, 
having summoned a great many knights, and no small num- 
ber of Flemish foot, was, with his consort also in mail, sent 
into England by the younger King Henry. But when, on the 
16th of October, he encountered the English host, who were 
hastening to meet him, a good many of his foot were slain, and 
the rest put to flight ; while he himself was taken, and con- 
signed to bonds at Porchester. Upon hearing this, the king of 
Scots, who had settled down to the siege, raised it, and led his 
troops back to his own kingdom. At the beginning of this year, 
there was seen a meteor of a very deep red, flashing with won- 
drous brightness in a sky clear and free from any overshadowing 
clouds ; so that those who saw it were aghast, for it was deemed 
by some to have foreboded bloodshed. 


King William taken. 

The second year after — that is, in 1174 — King William 
led an array into England, and besieged and took Appleby 
and Wayniland. Thereupon the Northumbrians, for a sum 
of money, obtained peace until the eighth day after Whit- 
sunday ; and William, having thus made his raid successfully, 
went back without loss. Meanwhile, when he had returned to 
Scotland from Appleby, he rested not; but, again mustering 
his army, he led it into England, and took Borough-under- 
Moor. So, after having wasted Cumberland, as he was 
going back through Northumberland, ravaging and plundering, 
he came before Alnwick ; and, when at watch there, with a few 
knights he had kept beside him, while all his army was scattered 
about pillaging the country, lo ! he was taken by the enemy, 
who, passing themselves off for Scotsmen, suddenly came upon 
him unawares ; and he was carried off, with hardly any of his 
men knowing anything about it. Nor was this done without 
the deliberate will of God, Who, in His loving-kindness, be- 
thought him of William's fierceness, and contrived, in his fore- 
sight, both that the king himself might be rescued from the 
perpetration of evils so great, and that, by a bridle being put 
into his jaws, the British realms might be restored to peace, as 


Merlin foretold ; — and not only that this country's turmoil might 
be lulled, but also that peace might be renewed in all the parts 
of France beyond the sea. On the 13th of July, therefore, 
having been taken prisoner — or rather, by the ordering of God's 
loving-kindness, rescued from the shedding of Christian blood, 
he was brought to the king of England, the elder Henry, 
Matilda's son, who commanded that he should be at once taken 
across to Normandy, and kept in custody in the castle of 
Falaise. When this became known. King William's brother, 
David, speedily left Leicester, for which he fought, and 
betook himself over to Scotland as fast as he could. At this 
time, also, the Scots and men of Galloway, on their king being 
taken, wickedly and ruthlessly slew their French and English 
neighbours, in frequent invasions, with mutual slaughter ; and 
there was then a most woeful and exceeding great persecution 
of the English, both in Scotland and Galloway, so that neither 
sex was spared ; but in most places, and wherever they could 
be caught, all ransom was scouted, and they were cruelly slain. 


Meanwhile Eouen was besieged by Henry's son, the 
young King Henry, Louis, king of France, and Philip, count 
of Flanders. But when the old King Henry found this out, 
seeing that the whole English kingdom was tranquillized to his 
heart's content, and was fast under his sovereignty again, by a 
most binding treaty of peace, he hastened to the sea, and crossed 
over without delay, to his people's support ; and, that he might 
be the more sure of being upheld by the obedience of his men, 
and strike the greater terror and dismay into his foes, he 
dragged the Scottish king from the keep of Falaise, brought 
him with him, and put him under arrest, locked up in Caen. 
When, however, the Scottish king, as already said, had been 
betrayed into the hands of his foes, all the old king's enemies 
— those, even, who had been the chief instigators of the quarrel 
— began, frightened and humbled, to treat for peace ; and, at 
the instance of some good men, the father and son came to an 
understanding, while peace was wholly restored and renewed 
in the parts beyond, as well as this side of, the water. King 
Henry, the father, likewise, at the intercession of the king of 
France, unconditionally released all the prisoners but the king 
of Scotland, and gave them back, when released, their honours 
and goods. Lo how they loved him ! May he not say with 
the prophet : — " All my friends have forsaken me " — allies who, 
at any rate, feigned true friendship for him — to wit, that they 


would be partakers with him in the subsequent events of the 
war, and be in fast fellowship with him in peace ? Hence they 
had, although with clashing aims, promised that the war and 
peace of one should hold good with another and with all; 
and though they were bound by the straitest treaty, yet the 
noising abroad of his capture damped the courage of all these 
friends of his. All the Philistines, likewise, fled away together 
when Goliath was slain. But he justly suffered this for holding 
out help to an undutiful son, who, under colour of right, but 
without zeal for it, was carrying on an unrighteous war against 
his father. He did, moreover, forego a most righteous ground 
for war, as the chiefship and crown of all England ought, by ac- 
knowledged right, to have been his. Indeed, if he were cunningly 
doing this for his own sake, to weaken his enemies, he craftily 
tricked such as were knit in fellowship with him, and thus 
waged a righteous war unrighteously. For, not only from an 
unrighteous deed or cause, but many a time from an unrighteous 
aim, has it chanced that a combatant who has carried on a 
righteous war unrighteously has been worsted or slain. 


Unlike Octavianus Augustus Caesar are those princes 
who are easily roused to war. Of this successful warrior, 
Uutropiios relates that he so loathed war, strife, and uproar, that 
he never, without just cause, declared war against any nation. 
He used to say that it showed a boastful and shallow disposi- 
tion to hurry the safety of the citizens into danger from the un- 
certain upshot of a struggle, for the burning love of triumphing, 
and for a laurel crown — fruitless leaves ; that nothing befitted a 
good prince less than rashness ; that whatever could be brought 
forth by fair means would be done soon enough, and that one 
should by no means take up arms, save with the hope of some- 
thing to gain ; that a victory won with heavy loss, for slight 
reward, was like fishing with a golden hook, the loss whereof, 
when broken off and gone, no profit of catching can make up 
for. So far Eutropius. When, however, the other magnates 
were released, as already stated, Kichard, bishop of Saint 
Andrews, and Richard, bishop of Dunkeld, and many of the 
prelates, earls, and barons of the kingdom of Scotland, went 
across the sea to King Henry, in Normandy, about setting their 
king free. He was accordingly set free, and allowed to go 
home, about the next Purification of the Blessed Virgin after he 
was taken ; and he was thus restored to the governance of his 
kingdom. But William, king of Scots, gave up his castles of 


Roxburgh, Berwick, and the Castle of Maidens (Edinburgh) to 
wardens appointed thereto, under the sovereignty of the English 
king, and was given hostages by the king of England, for the 
maintenance of peace ; and so there was made between them a 
covenant which should last unshaken. Then, on the 15th of 
August, all the bishops and prelates of Scotland, at their lord 
the king's command, met together at York, and were fast bound 
to Henry, king of England, under the sanction of an oath, and 
the plighting of their troth. To whom all the earls and barons 
of that kingdom, their lord the king so bidding them, even as it 
then behoved him to do, submitted by the tie of homage, and 
were bound to him by an oath of fealty. 

I xrv. 

But while this was going on, the Gallwegians, led by Gilbert, 
son of Fergus, treacherously made a conspiracy, just after their 
king's capture ; and, separating themselves from the kingdom 
of Scotland, that same year, they disturbed the adjacent lands. 
Ochtred, moreover, son of Fergus, w^ho was a true Scot, and 
could not be shaken, was taken prisoner by his brother Gilbert, 
on the 2 2d of September, and given over unto bonds ; and, at 
length, his tongue was cut off and his eyes were torn out, and 
he was ruthlessly murdered. Upon learning this, the king, 
now released, led an army against them, into Galloway ; but 
when these came to meet him, some Scottish bishops and earls 
stepped in between them, and, through their mediation, they 
were reconciled, by a money settlement, and by giving hostages. 
The winter after this, on the 29th of January, the king of 
England held a general council at Northampton, whereat the 
king of Scotland was present ; and, at the command of both 
kings, all the bishops and prelates of the kingdom of Scot- 
land were there met together. These were warned, on one 
side, under the threat of banishment, and, on the other, it was 
hinted to them, in wrong-headed exhortations, under the pretext 
of advice, that they should submit to the metropolitan bishop 
They all, however, strove hard to avert the threatened danger ; 
and, better counsels prevailing, the proposal was unanimously, 
rejected by them — by having, however, had recourse to delays. 
Thereupon, through their efforts, the olden dignity of their 
Church was secured by apostolic authority, and its liberty 
strengthened, by Pope Alexander, with the protection of privi- 
leges. Before the aforesaid council, also, Vivian, cardinal 
priest of Saint Stephen in Mount Cselius, came to Scotland 
as legate, armed with the warrant of great authority, crushing 


and trampling upon everything lie came across, ready to clutch, 
and not slow to snatch. Thence he crossed over to Ireland to 
fulfil his errand ; and, after holding a council there, he came 
back to the Scots country, and, on the 1st of August, held a 
solemn council at the monastery of Holyrood, at the Castle 
of Maidens (Edinburgh), renewing, upon apostolic authority, 
many decrees of the ancients, and establishing some new 


Now, in that aforesaid council at Northampton, whereat 
were present Kichard, archbishop of Canterbury, and Eoger, 
archbishop of York, together with the clergy of both kingdoms, 
a certain Scottish cleric, named Gilbert, perceiving their attempt 
to enthral the Scottish Church, was almost maddened; and, when 
warned by the archbishops to say out whatever he liked, he 
lifted up his voice, though against the will of all his own prelates 
and clergy, and, glowing like red-hot iron, poured forth these 
or such like passionate words : " Ye would indeed," said he, 
" men of England, have been noble — yea, nobler than the men 
of well-nigh any country — had ye not craftily changed the 
might of your nobleness, and the strength of your dreaded 
courage, into the insolence of tyranny ; and your enlightened 
wisdom and knowledge into the wily quibbles of sophistry. For 
ye trust not yourselves to order your actions aright under the 
guidance of reason ; but, both puffed up by your teeming 
hosts of knights, and trusting in the delights of wealth and all 
manner of substance, ye, through some wrongful lust or greed 
of mastery, aim at subduing to your sway all the bordering 
provinces and nations; nations nobler than you — I will not 
say in numbers, or in might — but in blood, and in antiquity ; 
nations whom, if ye look into the writings of old, ye ought 
rather humbly to obey, or, at least, quenching the touchwood of 
all ill-will, hereafter maintain brotherly love with, and reign 
with, for aye. And now, moreover, priding yourselves in 
all the wickedness ye have wrought, ye are striving, with- 
out putting forward any plea of right, but by brute force, to 
crush the Scottish Catholic Church, your mother, which was 
free from the beginning, and which, while ye were wander- 
ing through the pathless wilds of heathendom, set you upon 
the bulwark of faith, and brought you into the way of truth 
and life — Christ, the home of everlasting rest ; washed your 
kings and princes, and their peoples, with the water of holy 
baptism ; taught and instructed you in the precepts of God ; 


and gladly welcoming many of your nobles and common folk, 
who took delight in giving themselves up to reading, saw that 
their daily food was given them free of cost, as well as books 
to read, and masters, for nothing. She likewise consecrated, 
appointed, and ordained your bishops and priests; and Bede 
bears witness that, for the space of thirty years or more, she 
held the primacy and chief episcopal dignity north of the river 
Thames. What return, pray, are ye making to a Church which 
has lavished so many benefits upon you ? Is it not bondage, 
or such like, — giving evil for good, as the Jews with Christ ? 
I, indeed, look not for anything else, should your wish be fol- 
lowed by deeds, than that ye should bring down to the utmost 
wretchedness of bondage Her whom it beseems you to treat with 
all worship and reverence." At these words, some of the English 
praised him highly, in that he had fearlessly, for his country's 
sake, vented the feelings of his heart, truckling to none, and 
undaunted by the sternness of his hearers ; others, again, be- 
cause he had put forward what went against their wishes, of 
course thought him a vapouring and fiery Scot. But Koger, 
archbishop of York, broke up the council ; and, rising with a 
smile on his face, patted Gilbert on the head with his hand, 
and said to the bystanders : 

" 'Twas not from his own quiver came that shaft." 


After this, in the year 1179, William, king of Scotland, 
with his brother Earl David, and a large army, advanced into 
Eoss against Macwilliam, whose real name was Donald Bane, 
and fortified two castles there — namely, Dunschath and Eder- 
done ; and when he had fortified these, he hied him back to the 
southern tracts of his kingdom. But after seven years were 
overpast, seeing that this man went on in his wonted wickedness, 
the king, with a numerous army, and in very strong force, set out 
for Moray against this same enemy of his, Donald Bane, who 
said he was sprung of royal seed, and was the son of William, 
son of Duncan the Bastard, who was the son of the great Mal- 
colm, king of Scotland, called Canmore. This man, relying 
upon the treachery of some disloyal men, had first, indeed, 
wrested from his king the whole of Eoss, by his tyrannous in- 
solence ; and then, having for no little time held the whole of 
Moray, he had seized upon the greater part of the kingdom, 
with fire and slaughter, and aimed at the whole thereof. Now, 
while the king was making some stay, with his army, at the 

264 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

town of Inverness, and had been harassing Donald Bane and 
his adherents by daily plundering and spoiling, it fell out, one 
day, that some of his men, whom he had as usual sent out, to 
the number of two thousand, throughout the woods and country 
to plimder and to reconnoitre, lo ! all of a sudden, stumbled 
unawares upon Macwilliam and his troops lurking in a moor 
which is called Macgarvy, near Moray. Macwilliam, seeing 
that those of the king's army were few in comparison with his 
own men, engaged them at once, and charged them. But they 
manfully and fearlessly withstood him with all their might, 
and, by God's help, slew him, with five hundred of his men, and 
routed the rest, on Friday the 31st of July — thus giving him 
the meet reward he had earned. They then brought away his 
head to the king, as a gazing-stock for the whole army. 


But, for the whole time from the king of Scots being taken 
until the time he regained his former liberty, the dwellers in the 
southern and northern belts of the country were at odds, and 
were engaged in civil war with each other, with fiendish slaughter. 
At that time, also, in the year 1185, died that lover and wager of 
civil war, Gilbert, son of Fergus, and lord of Galloway — he who 
had wickedly killed his brother Ochtred, after he had cut out 
his tongue and put out his eyes. Now this was sure to happen, 
by the will of God, who, in His loving-kindness, hearkeneth 
unto the constant crying of the poor and needy, and gladly 
snatcheth them from the hands of the stronger. Upon his 
death, Ochtred's son, Rotholand, upheld by the king's help, 
gathered his army together, and, on Thursday the 4th of July, 
fought a battle with Gilpatrick, and Henry Kennedy, and 
Samuel, and a great many other Gallwegians, who, in Gilbert's 
time, had been the instigators and whole cause of all the hostile 
feeling and war. In this struggle, the aforesaid fosterers of 
wickedness, with their abettors, and others not a few, perished 
by the avenger's sword ; and the Lord requited them worthily 
after their deserts. That same year, this Rotholand, at the 
king's command, hunted down a certain Gillicolin, a tp'ant and 
robber chief, and drew up his army in battle array against 
him, on the 30th of September. This G illir.nlin h^^d be en in- 
festing all Lothian, by frequent spoiling and giving way to 
robbery, and many nobles had he bereft of life and property ; 
and, at length, making a hostile attack upon Galloway, was 
tyrannously usurping to himself the lands of Gilbert — though 
there was no great injustice in this — and the sovereignty of 


those parts of Galloway. But, on tlieir coming to blows, Gilli- 
coHn perished, with many of his men ; and thus his tyranny 
came to a' shameful end. In this struggle, Eotholand's brother, 
and a few of those who sided with him, fell slain. 


Henry, king of England, was very bitter against Eotholand, 
for the death of the Galloway traitors, whom, in defending him- 
self and his rights, the latter had, the year before, overthrown in 
battle; and, through the promptings of certain evil-minded 
persons, feeling a deep hatred towards him, he levied an 
army against him, from all parts of England, and advanced as 
far as Carlisle. Eotholand, however, at the bidding and advice 
of his lord the king of Scotland, came thither to him, and they 
arrived at an honourable understanding. King William after- 
wards, on account of this Eotholand's faithfulness, and the 
many times he had so well bestead both him and the kingdom, 
gave him the whole land of Galloway — that is to say, Gilbert's 
lands, besides the lands he had himself formerly held by right 
of inheritance. He also restored peace and harmony between 
Eotholand and Gilbert's son. To this son of Gilbert's, likewise, 
who did forego his father's lands, and quietly agreed that 
Eotholand should enjoy them for ever, the king granted the 
whole of Carrick in possession for all time. In the afore- 
said year — that is, 1186 — on the 21st of April, about the first 
hour of day, the sun looked the colour of fire, so red that the 
whole face of the earth, when touched by his rays, seemed to 
beholders to be drenched with blood. This, some declared, 
was a partial eclipse. It had, indeed, been preceded, that 
same month, on the 6th of April, at night, about dusk, by a 
total eclipse of the moon, which many had beheld. But the 
astrologers had foretold that these two tokens should be of 
those very kinds, and at those very times, hours, and moments ; 
and had publicly foreshown that they boded bloodshed, dis- 
asters, and storms, and disturbance of kingdoms in many parts 
of the world. And this, in fact, came true the following year. 
Eor Saladin, prince of Babylon and Damascus, with a num- 
berless multitude of his men, marched into the borders of the 
land of Jerusalem, and, at the outset, killed the Master of 
the Hospital of Jerusalem, together with nearly two hundred 
Templars and other knights. Then he so smote the whole 
Christian host, that but a small number escaped. In this 
deadly fight, two thousand Christian knights were slain, and 
thirty thousand foot; while the Turks and other heathen 

266 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

triumphed over them to their heart's content — woe worth the 
day ! Now this pitiful defeat of the Christians who dwelt 
at Jerusalem took place on the 4th day of the month of July, 
through the sufferance of God, who now, because they ^vTonged 
His divine Majesty, enthralled the Christian people to strangers, 
stirred up at His nod ; even as, under the old law, He had, 
as we read, dealt with the people of the Jews. They fiercely 
invaded every city, town, and castle ; and then, at length, be- 
sieged, took, defiled, and fortified the workshop of our salva- 
tion — to wit, the holy Jerusalem and our Lord's sepulchre. 


The empress's son, Henry, king of England, fleeing before 
his son Eichard's pursuit, came by the end of his life and reign 
at the town of Chinon, in the year 1189, the thirty-fifth of his 
reign ; and was buried at Fonteurault. It came to pass that 
while this king was being taken to be buried, clad in kingly 
apparel, with a golden crown on his head, gilt gloves and a 
ring on his hands, and with shoes embroidered with gold ; begirt 
with a sword; lying upon the bier with uncovered face; and 
holding a golden rod in his hand, his son Eichard Eufus, 
Count of Poitou, suddenly came to meet him, and do obeisance 
to his corpse. As soon as he was thus come, blood trickled from 
the dead king's nostrils, as if he were deeply indignant at his 
son's arrival. Weeping and wailing, however, Eichard went 
with his father's body to the burial-ground ; and it was there 
consigned to earth with solemn obsequies worthy of a kingly 
corpse. So Eichard succeeded him in the kingship, by the wish 
of all alike ; and, by the consent equally of the clergy and of 
the people, he was raised to the throne, and invested with the 
king's diadem at Westminster ; — Baldwin, archbishop of Can- 
terbury, with the rest of the bishops and prelates of England, 
placing the crown upon his head, on the 3d of September. 
For his brother Henry, the young king — of whom we spoke 
above — had departed this life six years before the death of his 
father, the aforesaid Henry, and in the thirteenth year after 
his own crowning. And thus the hopes of all those who had 
fought for him, which had nearly been blighted by his death, 
suddenly began to live anew in the crowning of his brother 
Eichard, who had been a partaker with his brother, as long as 
he had lived, in the whole of the quarrel with their father, and, 
after his death, had unweariedly carried on the war in like 
manner. • 




King William released from fealty to England. 

As soon, therefore, as his coronation was over, he, by a general 
decree, in full Parliament constituted by the advice of his pre- 
lates and lords, freed and released all his friends and allies, both 
English and French, who had cleaved to him and to his brother 
Henry, formerly the young king, at the time of the war against 
their father (which we have already gone into), and from whom 
his father had, for that reason, wrung any taxes, bonds, or 
bargains whatsoever. He also freely gave back, with usury, the 
lands, property, and ransoms, and all other goods whatsoever, 
that had been taken from them. To "William, king of Scots, 
he restored his castles of Eoxburgh and Berwick. The Castle 
of Maidens (Edinburgh), likewise, had been given back to him 
before, by King Henry, the father. Eichard also released the 
king and kingdom of Scots from all thraldom and bond of 
allegiance, oaths and pledge of fealty, and even from the 
terms of the old covenant — whereto the aforesaid king had, 
that his body might be set free, bound himself and his king- 
dom to the king and kingdom of England. He, likewise, freed 
and sent back to the Scottish kingdom the hostages whom 
William had given King Henry, for the keeping unshaken the 
covenant made between them. He also, on receiving from 
William ten thousand merks, granted that the Scots kingdom 
should be for ever free, quit, and exempt, from the jurisdiction 
and dominion of the English kingdom. The writs and charters, 
moreover, wherein those old covenants and extorted bonds had 
been set out, were cancelled and annulled, and given back to 
King William ; while Eichard drew up writs and charters 
wherein were contained that immunity and the recovered free- 
dom and exemption of the Scots ; and having given them force, 
by signatures of witnesses and the warrant of their seals, handed 
them over to the keeping of the king and kingdom of Scots 
for ever, in witness and warrant of the exemption made and 
their recovered freedom. The purport of one of these is in the 
following words : — 

" Eichard, by the grace of God, king of England, duke of 
Normandy and Aquitaine, earl of Anjou and Poitou ; to the 
archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, justiciaries, 
sheriffs, and all his ministers and lieges of the whole of Eng- 
land — Greeting : Know ye that we have given back to our 
cousin William, by the grace of God, king of Scots, his castles 
of Berwick and Eoxburgh, with all their pertinents, as his by 


right of inheritance, and to be held for ever by him and his 
heirs in the said kingdom. Furthermore, we have remitted 
Tinto him all customs and bargains which our father Henry, 
king of England, of happy memory, extorted by fresh escheats, 
through his capture. Provided, of course, that the said king 
do wholly and fully unto us, for his lands in England, what 
his brother Malcolm, king of Scots, did unto Our ancestors, as 
he was bound by law to do. And we shall do unto him and 
his successors, whatever Our ancestors were bound by law to 
do : to wit, in safe-conduct in coming to court, and returning 
from court, and, while tarrying at court, in procurations, and 
dignities, and honours, and all the privileges of the same, 
due, by law, from old time (according as it shall be ascer- 
tained by four of our lords, elected by the said King Wil- 
liam, and four lords of the kingdom of Scotland, elected 
by us), after William the Bastard, the conqueror of the said 
kingdom of England, and his heirs, obtained the said king- 
dom of England. But if any of Our men, after William, 
king of Scotland, was taken by Our father, has seized the bor- 
ders or marches of the kingdom of Scotland, and has unlaw- 
fully retained them without a judgment. We will that they 
be wholly restored, and brought back to the former state in 
which they were before his capture. Furthermore, touching his 
lands, which he has in England, whether demesnes, or fees — in 
the earldom of Huntingdon, to wit, and in all other places — he 
and his heirs for ever may hold them with that freedom and 
fulness wherewith his brother Malcolm, king of Scotland, held 
them, and was entitled to hold them by right of inheritance ; 
unless the aforesaid King Malcolm has feued any of the said 
lands to any one : Provided, however, that if any land was 
afterwards feued, the services of these feus belong to him and 
his heirs. And whatever Our father gave to the aforesaid Mal- 
colm or the aforesaid William, we hold it valid, and for Us and 
Our heirs confirm it for ever, and will hold it fast. We also 
give back to the same William, king of Scotland, the allegiance 
of his men, and all the charters which Our said father had of 
him, by reason of his capture. And if any others are by chance 
kept back through forgetfulness, or shall hereafter be found, 
We command that they be of none effect whatsoever. But this 
William has become Our liegeman for all his lands in England 
(for which his ancestors were the liegemen of Our ancestors), 
and has sworn fealty unto Us. Witness myself, in the year of 
Our Lord one thousand one hundred and ninety, and the first 
year of Our reign." 



Now the prelates and rectors of churches, the earls, also, and 
lords of the whole kingdom of Scotland, assembled at Holyrood 
Church at Edinburgh, and undertook to pay off the sum of 
money which the king had agreed upon, for his honours and 
the freedom of his kingdom, with the king of England. And 
having shared the payment among them — though this was done 
not without loss and damage to their substance —they cheer- 
fully paid it, at regular terms and times, settled beforehand, 
to Kichard, king of England, about to set out to the rescue of 
the Holy Land. But King Eichard, before starting, gave his 
chancellorship to William of Longchamp, bishop of Ely ; and he 
also set him over the whole of England as judge and justice, 
and intrusted to him the guardianship of the whole kingdom. 
Afterwards, King Eichard, having carried out the vow he had 
laid himself under, was minded to come back secretly through 
Germany ; but, being caught by some who lay in wait for him, 
and sent to the emperor Henry, he was by him kept in close 
ward. Meanwhile John, called " Lackland," King Eichard's 
brother, hankering after the throne of England, fortified the 
castles he could get in any way whatever throughout England, 
and handed them over to his men to guard, thus unsettling the 
whole country. At length King Eichard, having stated a sum 
for his ransom, and left hostages with the emperor, brought up 
at Sandwich in England, on the 1 3th of March, in the fourth 
year after his setting out. But William, king of Scotland, on 
hearing from messengers of his cousin King Eichard's arrival, 
straightway came to him with no mean force ; and in a short 
time, by his advice as well as help, Eichard tranquillized the 
kingdom, well-nigh split up. So they were together until the 
1 5th of May, — that is, Whitsunday. Now an aid was imposed 
on England for the king's ransom, such that one penny in 
thirteen was levied ; and silver chalices, also, were taken from 
the churches for that purpose. William, king of Scotland, of his 
own accord, freely sent two thousand merks from Scotland, out 
of the king's treasury. Moreover, there was thenceforth, for 
the whole of the time of King Eichard, so hearty a union 
between the countries, and so great a friendship of real affec- 
tion knit the kings together, like David and Jonathan, that the 
one in all things faithfully carried out what the other wished ; 
and even the two peoples were reckoned as one and the same. 
The English could roam scathless through Scotland as they 
pleased, on foot or on horseback, this side of the hills and 


beyond them ; and the Scots could do so throughout England, ] 
though laden with gold or any wares whatever. | 


In the year 1196 there was so grievous a famine that men 
were starving everywhere. That same year King AVilliam led 
an army into Caithness. Crossing the river Oikel, he killed 
some of the disturbers of the peace, and bowed to his will 
both provinces of the Caithness men, routing Harald, the earl 
thereof, until then a good and trusty man — but at that time, 
goaded on by his wife, the daughter of Mached, he had basely 
deceived his lord the king, and risen against him. Then, leav- 
ing there a garrison for the country, the king hurried back into 
Scotland. The following year, again, a battle was fought in 
Moray, hard by the castle of Inverness, between the king's men 
and Kodoric and Torphin, Earl Harald's son ; but the king's 
enemies were put to flight. Eodoric, also, with many others, fell 
slain. Wlien the king heard of this, he was highly indignant 
against Harald, and led an army into Moray ; and, scouring all 
those highland districts — namely, Sutherland, Caithness, and 
Eoss — he at last was so lucky as to get hold of Harald, whom 
he brought across the Scottish sea as far as Roxburgh Castle, 
and threw him into a dungeon there until peace should be made. 
At length, however, Harald made his peace with his lord the 
king, and, leaving there his son as a hostage, went back to his 
own land. But, not long after, on account of the father's bad 
faith, and because the peace established between him and the 
king was afterwards wickedly broken through, the son was 
deprived of his eyes and genitals, and died in the aforesaid 


Now this most fortunate king of Scotland, William, had, 
nearly twelve years ago, with great splendour and rejoicings, 
taken to wife Ermyngarde, daughter of the Viscount of Beau- 
mont, who was the son of the daughter of William the Bastard's 
eldest son, Robert Curthose. By her he had a son, named 
Alexander, — to the great gladness of his people, and the refresh- 
ment of the whole kingdom of the Scots, as the after course of 
these annals will show forth. He was born at Haddington, on 
Saint Bartholomew's Day, in the year 1198. In every place in 
the whole country, the common folk used to forsake their menial 


work on this day, wherein they first heard tidings of his birth, 
and spend it in joy ; while priests and churchmen donned the 
alb, and walked in procession, with loud voice glorifying God 
in hymns and canticles, and humbly praising Him. The fol- 
lowing year, Eichard, that noble king of England, so friendly to 
the Scots, was, while storming a castle named Chaluz, situated 
in Poitou, mortally hit by a shot from a crossbow, under the 
shield of Marchederius, prince of the Brabanters, on the 1 2th of 
April ; and he died at Longtronc, on the 1 6th of April, — that 
is, Friday before Palm Sunday. He was succeeded by his 
brother John, who was crowned at Westminster on Ascension 
Day ; and, crossing the sea some time afterwards, John made, 
by terms unmeet and unseemly for him and his kingdom, some 
sort of shameful peace with Louis's son, Philip, king of Prance. 
On King John's return. King William, under his safe-conduct 
and that of the nobles of England, came to meet him in Eng- 
land, about the Feast of Saint Martin ; and, at a great council 
which was brought together at Lincoln, did homage (without 
prejudice to all his dignities) for all his lands and honours, 
which he had a right to in England, and which his predecessors 
had formerly held. 


Sundry ambassadors went and came between William, king 
of Scotland, and John, king of England, who had made his way 
like a wild-cat into Northumberland as far as the Tweed, and 
thence as far as Carlisle, levying a tax of fifteen merks of forest 
dues from the barons. But in Lent, having done nothing in the 
matter of the king of Scotland, and putting him off with lying 
promises, John sailed across into Normandy, because of a serious 
war which had broken out, over the water, between himself and 
Philip, king of France ; and he remained there the whole of the 
following year, in unsuccessful warfare, returning thence only 
when he had lost his lands and all his castles beyond the sea. 
But William, king of Scotland, about the Feast of Saint Simon 
and Saint Jude, made all the nobles of the whole country, at a 
general council at Musselburgh, swear fealty to his own son 
Alexander, then three years old. Civil wars, however, were not 
over at this time ; indeed, at the utmost bounds of Scotland, they 
were carried on even more habitually. For the Earl of Orkney, 
the oft-mentioned Harald, had formerly sailed on a secret voyage 
to Caithness ; and, on the plea that John, bishop of that pro- 
vince, was an informer, and the instigator of the misunderstand- 
ing between him and the lord king, he had, as he thought, the 


bishop's eyes put out and his tongue lopped off; but it turned 
out otherwise, for the use of his tongue and of one eye was, in 
some measure, left him. Now when these tidings reached the 
king, he lost no time, and, before that very Christmas, he sent 
an army into Caithness, against Harald. This army, however, 
met with little or no success, and returned ; for Harald had re- 
treated to the furthest coast, returning as soon as the army had 
gone back. The following spring, therefore — that is, in 1202 — 
as the lord king was getting ready to sail towards the Orkneys 
against the said Harald, the latter, under the safe-conduct of 
Eoger, bishop of Saint Andrews, met him at Perth ; and there, by 
the intercession of that bishop and other good men, came to a 
good understanding with the king, and swore that he would in^ 
all things abide by the judgment of the Church. And thus he 
was restored to his earldom, on payment of two thousand 
pounds of silver to the lord king. 


On his recovery from a serious illness, whereby he had been 
kept back at Traquair, King William set out to meet John, 
king of England, who was coming to Norham ; and there they 
had an interview. But the king of England was not pacified ; 
and, brooking ill the Scottish king's views, went off to the 
southern parts of his kingdom. Now the cause of the quarrel 
was this : — The king of England had begun to strengthen a castle 
at Tweedmouth, in order to destroy the village of Berwick. The 
king of Scotland would not stand this ; so he twice pulled it dow^n 
to the very ground, after having taken, routed, and put to the 
sword all its founders, workmen, and guards. Thereupon King 
John, being stirred up in his heart against the king of Scots, 
encamped, with a strong and numerous force, about the river 
Tweed, near Norham, for the purpose of provoking the before- 
mentioned king to battle. The latter, having mustered his 
army and fortified his castles, marched forward as far as Eox- 
burgh, with no less a force to back him. Many and sundry 
messengers, therefore, hurried backwards and forwards between 
the kings, and many and sundry were the things commanded 
and demanded by the king of England of the king of Scotland, — 
things out of keeping with his kingship and freedom. When all 
these things had been flatly refused, they at length hit it off in 
this decision : to wit, that the Scottish king's daughters, Mar- 
garet and Isabella, should be handed over to the king of Eng- 
land, to be given in marriage, after nine years next following 
were over, to his sons, Henry and Eichard, who were infants as 


yet. Provided, indeed, that one of the former were betrothed to 
the one of the latter to whom the heirship of the throne might 
fall. This was sworn by King John. Moreover, the castle 
which was being reared at Tweedmouth, for the destruction of 
Berwick, was broken down ; and at no time hereafter shall it 
be reared. All his old honours shall be left entire to the king 
of Scotland. And, for all this to be wholly and fully observed, 
15,000 merks must be paid to John, king of England, within 
two years, at four terms. 


It was, likewise, settled and agreed between them, in these 
days, that the king of Scotland should absolutely and uncon- 
ditionally resign to the king of England all the lands and pos- 
sessions he himself had held of him ; and that the said king of 
England should give them back to Alexander, the son and 
heir of the Scottish king, who was to hold them of the king of 
England. This was done, the same year, at Alnwick : where 
Alexander swore fealty and did homage to King John for the 
whole of his said lands, possessions, and honours — with as much 
freedom, to wit, as either his father, or such of his predecessors 
as had formerly done so with the most freedom to themselves, 
and honour to John, or to any English king. It was also 
agreed that, thenceforth, not the king, but the heir to the Scot- 
tish throne for the time being, should swear fealty and do 
homage to the king of England for the aforesaid lands, honours, 
and possessions. Now when these things had been secured by 
writings and indentures, the dwellers in both kingdoms began 
to treat together for an everlasting peace. So, the third year 
after — that is, in 1212 — the aforesaid kings, each having sent 
the other word thereof by messenger, had an interview at 
Durham, on Candlemas Day, and afterwards came to Norham. 
There, in the presence of many of the nobles of either king, 
and also of the worshipful lady, the queen of Scotland, the 
form of peace and love, to be cherished for ever between the 
kingdoms and kings, was renewed, and secured by charters 
drawn up on either side. And, for the knitting of a stronger 
bond of love, Alexander, the son of the king of Scotland, was 
sent with the greatest pomp and state, by his father, to the king 
of England, by whom he, together with some noble and high- 
born boys of the kingdom, was girded with the sword of 
knighthood, in London, on the middle Sunday of Lent — that 
is, " The Lsetare, Jerusalem " — the 8th of March, in the four- 

VOL. II. s 

274 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

teenth year of his age. Then the king of England sent him 
away with gifts, and he went back to his father about Easter. 


At this time Alan, lord of Galloway, and constable of the 
king of Scotland, did homage to John, king of England, at 
Norham, by his lord the king's will and leave, for some broad 
lands which the latter had bestowed upon him. Now this is 
how he came to be constable. On the death of William of 
Morville, long ago, as he had no sons, he was succeeded by 
Alan's father, Eotholand, lord of Galloway, as heir, through a 
marriage formerly contracted between the latter and the said 
William's sister ; and Eotholand gave King William 700 merks 
of silver, for the heirship and the honour of the constable- 
ship aforesaid. Then Gothred, the son of Macwilliam, being 
seized and fettered through his own men's treachery, was 
brought before the king's son, the lord Alexander, at the king's 
manor and castle of Kincardine, and was there beheaded, and 
hung up by the feet. Now this Gothred, son of Macwilliam, 
had come, the year before, about the Lord's Epiphany — by the 
advice, it was said, of the thanes of Eoss — out of Ireland into 
those parts, trampling under foot everything he came across, 
and infesting the greater part of the kingdom of Scotland. But 
the king's army was suddenly sent against him, so as either to 
kill him, or to drive him out of the country ; and King William 
himself went after him, and in that same following smnmer 
built two towns in those parts. After the king's decease, the 
garrison of one of these towns surrendered of their own free 
will ; and it was burnt down by Gothred and his men. The 
king of England, also, came as far as Norham, to have an inter- 
view with the king of Scotland ; but as this king was at that 
time lying sick at Haddington, the interview did not come off. 
Nor was the Lord Alexander, the king's son — although the 
king of England had asked this ver}^ urgently — allowed to go 
to him ; for they feared his wiles. 


In the autumn, moreover, about the Feast of St. Peter, which 
is called ad vincula, in the year 1214, King William set out 
for Moray, where he made some stay ; and ha\dng made a treaty 
of peace with the Earl of Caithness, and taken his daughter as a 
hostage, he came back from Moray into Scotland. From Scot- 
land, however, he went to Lothian ; and ou his way back thence. 


he came, by short stages, and in great bodily weakness, to 
Striveline (Stirling). He there lingered for some time, failing 
in strength from day to day ; and after his son had been ac- 
cepted as the future king, by the bishops earls, and barons, 
William departed this life, full of goodly days, and at a good old 
age, charging his familiar friends and officers about paying back 
all debts and services in full, as became a good prince. And fully 
armed with thorough devoutness, a clear shrift, true charity, 
the viaticum of Christ's body, and the rest of the sacraments, 
while his kingdom abode in the deepest peace, breathed he out 
his last breath, in a blissful end, and flitted to Christ's presence, 
we trust, about the third hour of the night, on Thursday, the 
4th of December, in the aforesaid year — the forty-ninth of his 
reign, and the seventy-fourth of his age. How great was that 
distinguished king's worthiness in God's sight, may be gathered 
from a certain miracle, which was on the following wise. Upon 
one occasion — namely, in 1206 — between Candlemas and the 
1st of March, this king went, under the safe-conduct of some 
English nobles, to John, king of England, at York ; and after 
a stay of four days there, when his business was over, he 
sped safely back. At that time, at York, in the presence of 
many nobles of England and Scotland, a boy was, by his 
touch and blessing, healed of a grievous sickness, which was 
upon him ; while all wondered and stood aghast. But that 
he was beloved by worthy men, even as he was by God, is 
shown in this case, for instance. Once Jocelin, bishop of 
Glasgow, and Arnald and Osbert, abbots of Melrose and Kelso, 
with other men of mark, went off to Eome, on the business 
of their king and country ; and when they had skilfully trans- 
acted it, they came home again, in good health and spirits. 
Pope Lucius, however, hearing of the fame of King William — 
that he was zealous for God, and took great pains in maintain- 
ing the laws of his kingdom — sent over, by them, to his best 
beloved son, with his fatherly blessing, a golden rose, set upon 
a wand, also of gold. Besides, Pope Innocent and Pope Celes- 
tinus had, before this, written to him about the freedom of the 
Scottish Church. 


Coronation of King Alexander II. at Scone. 

The next day after the king's death, very early in the morn- 
ing, while Walter, bishop of Glasgow — Kobert, elect of Eoss — 
the queen — William of Boscho, the chancellor — and a good many 
of his household, abode with the deceased king's body, the Earls 

276 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

of Fife, Stratherne, Atholl, Angus, Menteith, Buchan, and 
Lothian, together with William, bishop of St. Andrews, took 
the king's son, Alexander, a lad of sixteen years and a half; 
and, bringing him as far as Scone, they raised him to the throne, 
in honour and peace, with the approval of God and man, and 
with more grandeur and glory than any one until then ; while 
all wished him joy, and none gainsaid him. So King Alex- 
ander, as was meet, held his feast in state, at Scone, on that 
day (that is to say, Friday), and the Saturday following 
(namely, the Feast of St. Nicholas), as well as the next Sunday. 
On the Monday, at the bridge of Perth, he met his father's body, 
which was being taken down, in great state, to Abirbroth (Ar- 
broath), to be buried, as the king himself, before his death, had 
directed. And thus, followed by all the nobility of the whole 
kingdom, save a few of the nobles who guarded the uttermost 
parts of the kingdom, William, the kindly king of Scots, and 
to be had in kindly remembrance for everlasting, was buried on 
Wednesday, the 10th of December, in front of the high altar, 
in the church of the monastery of Abirbrothoc (Arbroath), which 
he had himself caused to be built up from the very foundations, 
to the honour of God and Saint Thomas the Martyr, Archbishop 
of Canterbuiy ; and which he had, after endowing it with many 
estates and possessions, committed to the monks of Kalkhow 
(Kelso). May God be gracious unto his soul ! Amen. 


Earl David, likewise, though neither lively in mind nor 
vigorous in body, came as quickly as he could to his nephew. 
King Alexander, and kept the aforesaid feast with the king at 
Scone, for two days. Thence, however, he set off, with the long, 
to meet the body of the king, his brother, at the head of Perth 
bridge ; and, getting off his horse, he took upon his shoulder one 
handle of the bier, and, with the rest of the earls who were there, 
devoutly carried the body as far as the boundary, where a cross 
was ordered to be set up ; and afterwards, at the king's burial, 
he stood by as chief mourner, as became a brother. To this 
David, the late King William, his brother, after he had been 
released, and had come back from England, had given the earl- 
dom of Huntingdon, to be held of him — likewise the earldom 
of Garviach, the town of Dundee, the town of Inverbervie, 
and the lordship of Lanforgonde, together with many other 
lands. David had, moreover, taken to wife a most noble damsel, 
Matilda, daughter of Hugh, the late glorious Earl of Chester, 
that most renowned son of Eanulpli, that most renowned earl 


thereof ; and by her he had a son, who, also, was called Henry. 
That same noble Earl David had, also by her, had a son before, 
named Eobert, who — woe worth the day ! — being overtaken by 
an -untimely death, paid the debt of nature, and found a burial- 
place at the abbey of Lindores, which his father had newly 
founded. Wherefore many in Scotland, as well as in England 
and other countries, were filled with tears and grief. 


That same Earl David likewise begat, of his said wife Matilda, 
one son, named John, who afterwards succeeded him — and 
three daughters : Margaret, Isabella, and Ada. Margaret he 
gave in wedlock to Alan of Galloway, Eotholand's son, who of 
her begat a daughter named Darworgilla ; his second daughter, 
Isabella, he gave to Eobert of Bruce, who of her begat a son 
named Eobert ; and his third daughter, Ada, he joined in 
matrimony to Henry of Hastings — and by her this same Henry 
had a son named Henry. Now Earl David, after having lain 
sick a long time, at length went the way of all flesh, at Jer- 
delay, in England, and breathed his last on Monday, Saint 
Botulph's Day, in the year 1219. And though it had been his 
will, when he was alive, that his body should be taken down to 
his own monastery of Lindores, yet, by the advice of some, it 
was taken down to the abbey of Sautreia, and there interred in 
state, the day after Saint Botulph's Day — that is on Tuesday. 
He was a man of pious memory, and worthy to be always had 
in remembrance, God be gracious unto his soul ! Amen. He 
was succeeded by his son, who was, by the English, called 
" John the Scot," and whom, together with many other nobles, 
both of England and Scotland, King Alexander afterwards in- 
vested with the arms of knighthood, at Eoxburgh, at his royal 
feast on Whitsunday. Afterwards, nearly thirteen years after 
Earl David's death, Eanulph, earl of Chester, died childless, 
and was succeeded by John the Scot, Earl David's son and his 
own nephew, who also died without children. 


The five years' interdict came to an end, throughout all 
England, about the 1st of July, in the year King William died. 
But, for this release from the interdict, John, king of England, 
put the kingdom of England, as also himself, under subjection 
to our lord the Pope for ever ; and, in witness of this subjec- 

278 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

tion, he himself, and the magnates of his territory, promised, 
with their hands on a shrine, that he and all his heirs would fur- 
nish to God, and to the sovereign pontiff and all his successors, 
an annual rent — of one thousand merks of silver, to wit — from 
his own treasury ; and he gave his golden charter thereto. 
!N"ow, the year before, a certain English ploughman, named Peter, 
who — through what spirit I know not — foretold things to come, 
had been, from day to day, rebuking the very king of England, 
John himself, for his cruelty towards the Church ; and for ever 
shouting out fearlessly before his face that he would shortly 
lose the honour of the throne and the name of king, and that he 
would reign but for a year. The following year, however, the 
king, seeing he had escaped the day appointed for him by Peter, 
as stated above, had this Peter hanged upon a gallows-tree. 
But Peter asserted that he was unjustly being put to death ; for 
that he had foretold the truth, as he maintained that the king 
was already not reigning, since he had put under another's 
sway the sovereignty of the kingdom. The following year, the 
king of Scotland's enemies — namely, Dovenald Bane, son of 
Macwilliam, Kennach MacAth, and the son of a certain king 
of Ireland — entered Moray, with a numerous crowd of mis- 
creants. These foes of the king's were attacked by Maken- 
tagart and mightily overthrown ; and the latter, having cut off 
their heads, presented them as new gifts to the new king, Alex- 
ander, and was therefor graced, by the king, with the honour 
of knighthood. 


After the Christmas of the year 1215, which he had kept 
merrily at Forfar, Alexander, king of Scots, with our lady the 
queen, his mother, and many noblemen of the kingdom, was at 
Striveline (Stirling), at the Epiphany ; and thence he went on 
to Lothian, and held a parliament at Edinburgh, whereat he 
gave back the chancellorship to William of Boscho, the con- 
stableship to Alan of Galloway, and the chamberlainship to 
Philip of Walloniis — just as it had been before, in his father's 
lifetime ; and as for the rest, he gave to each his rights, as their 
feus required. Soon after, however, some kind of council was 
held, by a few persons, at Haddington ; and some, who had 
been contented before, withdrew from Court discontented. The 
king then came thence into Scotland, and met the queen, his 
mother, at Forfar ; whereupon they set out together for Abbir- 
brothoc (Arbroath), to see the grave of King William, of pious 
memory. At this time, moreover, the barons and nobles of 


England, who would not brook the burdens and wrongful cus- 
toms which King John daily laid upon them, bound themselves 
by a common oath to insist, with one mind, upon the king's 
granting them the ancient liberties and free customs granted of 
old, to the Church and kingdom of England, by Henry, son of 
William the Bastard, according to the terms of his charter ; — for 
that otherwise they would withdraw themselves from his sway. 
But when this king had put them off with false promises and 
repeated wrongs, at length their hearts were stirred up, and 
they would wait no longer ; but, shunning even an interview, 
they set about dealing with the matter by arms. Alexander, 
king of Scotland, too, and Llewellyn, king of Wales, being 
beset with prayers and promises, allied themselves to the 
barons of England; although the king of Wales had taken 
king John's daughter to wife. 


As soon as the king of Scotland had gathered his forces 
together, he set off into England, and besieged Norham Castle ; 
but shortly, by the advice of his friends, he granted a truce to 
the besieged, and led his host into Northumberland, which he 
brought under his yoke, and received the submission of its people. 
When John, king of England, heard of this, taking with him 
some freebooters and other hangers-on of his, he went his way 
towards Scotland, took Berwick Castle, and then, going across 
by the sea-coast, stormed Dunbar. Thence he marched on into 
Lothian, wasting and burning everything he could get at within 
the kingdom of Scotland. But inasmuch as God was pleased 
to withstand him, and, in his loving-kindness, to forbear from 
the shedding of blood, John did not push on beyond Hadding- 
ton. Eetracing his steps, he burnt down Berwick Castle, 
together with the town ; and, breaking down the bridge after 
his army, he went back as far as Dover, bringing under his 
sway all the country he had passed through, near Berwick. 
Now King Alexander, having gathered together the strength of 
the whole kingdom all about, longed to come to blows with the 
English, and pitched his tents on the river Esk, near Pentland. 
But when he saw that the king of England had retreated, he 
hastily followed after him ; and burning up Northumberland, 
he marched through the bishopric of Durham, and got as far as 
Eichmond. Then, bending his steps towards the western parts 
of Westmoreland, he ravaged almost all those lands, and went 
home again across the Solway water, hard by Carlisle, with 
plunder without, end. 

280 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Meanwhile the lord Louis, the first-born of the king of France, 
to the end that he might restore the liberties of the kingdom 
and the Church, sided with the barons of England, and took 
from them hostages for their fealty and homage ; and having 
marshalled his forces, he, at the head of a countless soldiery, 
sailed over in a fleet laden with meat and engines of war. He 
brought up in England, in the year 1216; while King John, 
with his army, tarried at Sandwich — the nearest port, as he 
thought ; but, not daring to come to blows, the latter betook 
himself to a safer spot. Louis, however, came to London ; 
and, to the unspeakable joy of the barons and of his -own fol- 
lowers, was welcomed, with great honour, on Whitsunday, — 
for, during the course of that time, the barons were tarrying in 
London. But Alexander, king of Scots, having got his army 
together again, made his way into England, about the 5th of 
August, everywhere sparing the churches, and church property, 
and the lands of the barons, but wasting the king's lands and 
those of his hangers-on, until he came to Louis at Dover. He 
was welcomed, with honour, by Louis ; and, having made a stay 
there of fifteen days or upwards, after treating of, and secretly 
winding up, sundry matters with him, he at length made ready 
to cross over to his own country. But on his way back to Scot- 
land, after their interview and negotiations, his road was barred 
by John, king of England, who had caused the bridges and 
boats of the river Trent to be broken down and upset, and the 
fords to be cut through, and was besetting all the roads, both 
by sea and land, whereby Alexander could get across. But, 
God so ordering it, he ended his misdeeds and plottings with 
his life, and died on the day of Saint Luke the Evangelist, at 
Newark, a town lying hard by the river Trent ; while the king 
of Scotland sacked his scattered army's camp, and sped safely 
back to Scotland, without loss, and with great glory. 


As soon, then, as the king of Scotland had returned from 
England, he called upon all those who were with him to make 
haste and give their horses a little rest after the long journey, 
and by every means get ready to return to England, — which 
they did. Accordingly, having gathered his forces together, he 
marched back, with a huge force, into England, carrying off 
everything at will ; until at length he wheeled off to besiege 


Carlisle, and strongly blockaded it with his whole force. The 
besieged, on the other hand, having constant onslaughts made 
upon them, and having lost all hope of being relieved, sur- 
rendered the city and castle to the king, on promise that life 
and limb would be spared. That same year, moreover, — in 
the foregoing summer, to wit — a certain cardinal, named Gualo, 
was, by Pope Innocent, sent as legate to England to succour 
John, king of England ; for, on the strength of the payment of 
the yearly tribute, and the subjection of England, the Pope was 
now most friendly towards John. Upon that king's death, how- 
ever, as above related, this legate got together the army which 
had marched under the king, and set his first-born son Henry, 
now in his ninth year, to reign in his father's stead. So Henry 
was crowned at Winchester. Hearing, likewise, of the troubles, 
oppression, and unbearable evils which were wrought in England 
by the king of Scotland, Gualo laid an interdict upon that king, 
his army, and the whole kingdom of the Scots. Thereupon 
there arose very great distress in the Scottish Church. For, at 
the instance of Gualo, the legate in England, a rescript was sent 
by Pope Honorius to the priors of Durham, Gysburn, and Tyne- 
mouth, who declared all the prelates of Scotland excommuni- 
cated, forasmuch as they had given the Communion to the king 
of Scotland and his army, who had fallen under the ban pro- 
nounced at the Lateran Council, wherein were excommunicated 
all King John's enemies, and their abettors : because the king 
of Scotland had sided with Louis, the first-born of the king of 
France ; because he had fought against John, king of England, 
breaking down the castle of Tweedmouth, which had been re- 
built by John, in spite of his oath, over against Berwick ; and 
especially because he had not yielded to the request of Gualo, 
the legate, that he should surrender Carlisle to King Henry. 


Finally, at that time, the castle of the city of Lincoln was 
besieged by the barons of England, and the strong army of 
Louis, the first-born of the king of France. But on being set 
upon by Gualo, the legate, with the army of Henry, king of 
England, they raised the siege ; and, in the course of one hour, 
all the barons and nobles of England who followed Louis were 
taken, and a certain French earl, who had come to the afore- 
said siege with the English army, was slain. Thus were the 
mighty of England led away captive, while their castles and 
estates fell under King Henry's dominion. But the lord Louis, 
who had, all this while, been tarrying in London, seeing that 


luck had turned, and that it threatened to go hard with him 
in the result of the war, thought better of it, and made peace 
with the king of England, after having received a pledge from 
him that all who had risen against him would be restored to 
the plight they had been in before the war had broken out. 
Thereupon Louis went home across the water, under a safe- 
conduct, in the year 1217, about Michaelmas. But Gualo, the 
legate, sent messengers to Alexander, king of Scotland, to pro- 
mise him absolution ; and began to treat for a perpetual treaty 
of peace, the surrender of Carlisle, and indemnity for losses — 
all which he got. And although Master Walter of Wisebeth 
(Wisbeach) came by our lord the Pope's authority, to take off 
the interdict in Scotland, nevertheless Gualo, in his wiliness, 
craftily made him put off that absolution, until peace should 
have been made between the kings — or, according to some, until 
he should, in the meanwhile, have slaked the thirst of his money- 
bag with draughts of money. 


So our lord Alexander, king of Scotland, and all the laymen 
who followed him, got absolution, at Berwick, from the arch- 
bishop of York, and the bishop of Durham. Thence he went 
on to Northampton, under the safe-conduct of the king and 
barons of England ; and he there did homage for his lands and 
honours in England, as had been the English king's right from 
old time. And, having surrendered Carlisle, which he had 
taken, and secured peace, he went back to his own kingdom ; 
though he could not obtain from the said Gualo that the pre- 
lates and clergy of his land might be included in the terms of 
that peace. But, by the advice of some, led by I know not 
what spirit, a general interdict was proclaimed throughout 
Scotland, about the Feast of Saint Nicholas, and all the clergy, 
both regular and secular, found themselves, as it were, excom- 
municated — except William, lord bishop of Saint Andrews, 
who, on his way back, a little before, from France, where he 
had tarried during the time of warfare, had barely managed to 
get the benefit of absolution from Gualo, the legate aforesaid, 
— having first, however, sworn upon the Body that he had not 
lent advice, help, or favour to the adversaries of John, king of 



About Candlemas, the prior of Durham and the arch- 
deacon of York, being sent by the legate of England, came 
to Scotland, and gave absolution to the clergy of Scotland, 
in this form : They made all the clergy, both regular and 
secular, come together before them, at some borough or city, 
and took a sworn pledge from them that they would abide by 
the legate's commands, and would make a true and clean shrift 
on such matters as they might ask them about; whereupon 
they gave them absolution, the latter naked and barefoot be- 
fore the doors of the churches where they had come together, 
or before the abbeys where the former were baiting. And in 
this fashion they went about through Scotland, from Berwick 
even unto Abirbrothoc (Arbroath), baiting at place after place, 
as they thought fit, and, by the advice of some who wished 
to please them, getting everywhere costly procurations, and 
money without end, and many offerings. But the bishops of 
the kingdom, the king's household clergy, and all the beneficed 
clergy of the whole country, who had either taken part in the 
war, or had in any way ministered unto the combatants, these 
kept back for Gualo, the English legate, to absolve ; while the 
abbots and certain other prelates to whom they had given ab- 
solution, they kept suspended from their office, until they 
should have more fully earned the favour of the legate himself. 
Therefore, about the festival of Easter, nearly all the prelates of 
Scotland went to Alnertone (Northallerton), to meet the legate 
of England, who sent some of them to Eome to get absolution, 
while to others he gave absolution there, having been appeased 
with large sums of money. Some, again, he utterly deprived of 
their benefices, or suspended until his grasping covetousness had 
been fully glutted. Thus it happened, by God's righteous judg- 
ment, that since, in their trouble, they would not follow sound 
counsel, but, fearing for their frock more than for their con- 
science, made their judge one who was not their judge, they 
felt this man's tyranny, and learnt thenceforth to struggle 
willingly to guard their privileges, and the liberties of the king- 
dom. But King Alexander sent messengers to the court of Eome, 
and renewed the privileges whilom granted to his predecessors. 


Afterwards, in the year 1220, Alexander, king of Scotland, 
went, with some of the chief men of the kingdom, under a safe- 
conduct, to meet Henry, king of England, at York, about the 

284 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Feast of the Holy Trinity. There negotiations were busily 
carried on between them. The king of Scotland bound himself 
to wed the eldest sister of the king of England, while the latter 
bound himself to see that the Scottish king's sisters — whom 
his own father had formerly taken, as already said, to get them 
married — were worthily mated ; and they both took an oath on 
the Body to that effect, before a certain Pandulph, the English 
legate, and a good many other lords of either kingdom. Thus 
a peace was established, which was to last time without end ; 
and they returned home in peace. But, the following year, 
after Whitsunday, Alexander, king of Scotland, in great state, 
and with a great bevy of knights, proceeded, again under a safe- 
conduct, to York, as had been agreed between those kings the 
year before ; and, on the Friday before the Nativity of Saint 
John the Baptist, he was, to the great joy of both sides, betrothed 
to the English king's eldest sister, named Joan, as yet a girl of 
very tender age. And so our lord the king went safely home 
again with his betrothed, who, when she grew up, turned out 
very handsome, and comely, and beautiful. That same year, 
having raised an army out of Lothian and Galloway, and other 
outlying provinces, the king sailed for Argyll. But a storm 
arose ; and being obliged to put back, he brought up at Glas- 
gow, in safety, though not without danger. The following year, 
also, after Whitsunday, he led back the army into Argyll, for 
he was displeased with the natives for many reasons. The 
men of Argyll were frightened : some gave hostages and a great 
deal of money, and were taken back in peace ; while others, 
who had more deeply offended against the king's will, forsook 
their estates and possessions, and fled. But our lord the king 
bestowed both the land and the goods of these men upon his 
own followers, at will ; and thus returned in peace with his men. 


Now, the same year — namely, in 1222 — forasmuch as Adam, 
bishop of Caithness, and sometime abbot of Melrose, claimed 
tithes and other church rights from his subjects, these were 
kindled with fury ; and, on Sunday, within ^eight days after 
the Blessed Mary's Nativity, being gathered together in a 
body of over three hundred men, they took him, beat, bound, 
wounded, and stripped him ; and, throwing him down into his 
own kitchen, which had been set on fire, burnt him, after they 
had killed a monk of his, and one of his servants. But John, 
earl of Caithness, although he was dwelling close by, and had 
seen the people, armed, pouring in from all sides, upon being 


moreover, asked by some of that bishop's servants to bring 
help, dissembled and said : " If the bishop is afraid, let him 
come to me." Whence, also, it was believed by many that he 
was privy to that crime. But our lord the King Alexander, 
when he was on the point of starting for England, on the busi- 
ness of his realm, and had halted at Jed worth (Jedburgh), was 
brought news of this crime, by trustworthy messengers. So he 
put that business aside ; and, raising an army, as became a 
Catholic man, he went forth even unto Caithness. The afore- 
said earl, however, though he proved, by the witness of good 
men, that he was guiltless, and had given no countenance or 
advice to those ruffians, yet, because he had not straightway 
sought to take meet vengeance upon them, had to give up great 
part of his lands, and a large sum of money, to the king, in 
order to win his favour. He, likewise, handed over for punish- 
ment many of those who had wrought this deed ; and the king 
had them mangled in limb, and racked with many a torture. 



After Gilbert, archdeacon of Moray, had been there chosen 
bishop of Caithness, in presence of our lord the king and the 
chief men of his host, the king and his men returned home safe 
and sound, by God's vouchsafing, although there was at that 
time a very great storm, with floods of rain. Now while this 
was going on, the prelates of Scotland, fearing that, if news of 
so great an atrocity reached our lord the Pope, he would, perhaps, 
send a legate or an envoy to make inquiries as to what had 
happened, made known to that sovereign pontiff, by messengers 
of their own, both the truth of the matter, and the king's zeal 
in avenging the crime. Thereupon the Pope highly commended 
both their diligence and the king's task. But, the very next 
year, while King Alexander was keeping his birthday at Forfar, 
the Earl of Caithness met him there, and, by giving him money, 
got back that land which the king had, the year before, claimed 
as a quittance for the aforesaid bishop Adam's death. There 
were indeed a great many, at that time, who, within themselves, 
did not think well of this proceeding, and suspected that our 
lord the king had been overreached in this matter by evil advisers. 
Later, however, the earl did not escape punishment for that crime. 
For, afterwards, when seven years had gone by, that same earl 
was hemmed in by his foes, and killed and burnt in his own 
house. And he had richly earned such a death as he had, 
without a cause, made the venerable bishop Adam undergo. 
During this same time, some unrighteous men of the race of 

286 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Macwilliam — namely, Gillespie, and his sons, and Eodoric — 
started up in the uttermost bounds of Scotland. But when 
they strove to overwhelm the kingdom by force, God gave them 
over, with their abettors, into King Alexander's hand ; and thus 
the land was no longer troubled by their lawlessness. 


In the year 1235, Alexander, king of Scotland, mustered an 
army and entered Galloway, to quiet the land, and revenge him- 
self upon the rebels. When the natives found this out, they 
unexpectedly started out of the hills and woods, and assailed 
the king and his army, who were resting in their tents — for 
that spot, full as it was of marshes, and goodly with gi-ass, as 
far as the eye could reach, gave them no little confidence. But 
Makintagart, who had then been made Earl of Eoss, burst with 
furious might upon the rear of the natives, and swept down 
many, and many he forced to flee. The illegitimate son of 
Alan, lord of Galloway, however — Thomas, who had erst, in 
his father's lifetime, been betrothed to the daughter of the king 
of Man, and who was the leader of this heinous attempt, 
went back to Ireland, with Gilroth, an abettor of his. Next 
day, all the Gallwegians came with ropes round their necks, 
and begged for peace and the king's favour ; so the king 
kindly accepted their submission. But this same Thomas, 
Alan's bastard son, came back to Galloway from Ireland, 
together with a king's son and many others ; and, as soon as he 
got there, he broke up his ships, lest the Irish should think of 
fleeing. Soon after, however, seeing that his own men could not 
withstand the king's majesty, he, by the advice of the bishop of 
Whitehern, as well as of Patrick earl of Dunbar, and the abbot 
of Melrose, humbly besought the king for peace ; so the king 
kept him, a little while, in the Castle of Maidens (Edinburgh), 
and then let him go. But the rest of the Irish, who would not 
fly the country, were slain in an attack by the citizens of Glas- 
gow. Two of the chiefs, however, the king ordered to be torn 
asunder by horses, at Edinburgh. At that time, also, even the 
Scots of the king's army, when he had gone back, despoiled the 
lands and churches of Galloway with unheard-of cmelty — so 
much so that a monk at Glenluce, who was at the last gasp, was 
left naked but for his hair-shirt ; and, at Tongueland, the prior 
and sacristan were slain in the church. 



On the day of Saint Maurice, in the year 1237, Alexander, 
king of Scots, and Henry, king of England, with the queens, 
their wives, and the lords of either kingdom, met at York ; 
where, for fifteen days, they talked over the knotty business of 
the kingdoms, in presence of Otho, the legate of our lord the 
Pope. When their negotiations were over, the king of Scotland 
went home again in safety. But the queen of Scotland went 
with the queen of England, to Canterbury, for the purpose of 
praying ; and the following year — the year 1237, to wit — on the 
4th of March, she died near London, in the arms of her brothers, 
Henry, king of England, and Eichard, duke of Cornwall, who 
had her body buried in state in the church of the convent of 
Tarent. As, therefore, the king had begotten of her neither son 
nor daughter, he, on Whitsunday, the 15th of May 1239, by 
the advice of his lords, took to wife, at Eoxburgh, the daughter 
of a nobleman, Ingram of Coucy. This lady was named Mary ; 
and of her the king begat a son on whom the father's name was 
bestowed. So Alexander, the first-born of the king of Scotland, 
was born at Eoxburgh, on the day of St. Cuthbert's translation, 
Wednesday, the 4th of September, when his father was begin- 
ning the forty-fourth year of his age, and was well-nigh at the 
end of the twenty-seventh of his reign. 


Having got together a numerous army, Henry, king of 
England, came to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, to wage war against 
Alexander, king of Scotland, forasmuch as a certain castle, 
which is called Hermitage (at Castleton), had been reared by 
the Scots, in the marches between Scotland and England, in 
Liddesdale. So King Alexander, with his army well equipped, 
went to meet him, as far as Caldwell, where all the chiefs 
renewed their fealty to our lord the king ; and thus, all of one 
mind, they marched on as far as Pentland, ready to come to 
blows with the king of England, if he should enter Lothian. 
But, at the instance of the archbishop of York, and other great 
men, peace was restored between the kings ; and the king of 
Scotland sped safely home again. The king of England, how- 
ever, wheeled off towards Wales ; because the Welsh were in 
rebellion against their English-born masters, and neither could, 
nor would, bear their thraldom any longer. The Welsh, there- 
fore, the remains of the Britons, who, from the days of Brutus, 


their first prince, had had a king and prince of their own nation, 
were, during this time, so utterly subdued, that it is in London, 
the chief English city, that they try their causes — according to 
Merlin's prophecy : — The red dragon (that is, the Britons) shall 
pine away at the very end of the pool (that is, the very end 
of the island), quelled by the white dragon (whereby the EngUsh 
are meant). 


Death of this King Alexander II. 

That renowned king of Scots, Alexander ii., while he 
was on his way to restore peace to the land of Argyll, 
was overtaken by grievous sickness, and carried across to 
an island which is called Kerneray (Kerrera) ; and there, 
in the year 1249, after he had partaken of the sacraments 
of eternal salvation, his blissful soul was snatched away from 
this life, and joined — as we believe — all the saints in the 
heavens. But his body was brought down to the church of 
Melrose, as he himself had willed in his lifetime ; and after the 
obsequies due had been solemnly celebrated, after the manner 
of kings, it was there committed to the bosom of the earth, on 
Thursday, the 8th of July, about the ninth hour, in the fifty- 
first year of his age, and the thirty-fifth of his reign — for he 
was sixteen years and a half old when he was made king. 
While he lived, he was a most gentle prince towards his people, 
a father to the monks, the comforter of the needy, the helper of 
the fatherless, the pitiful hearer and most righteous judge of 
the widow and all who had a grievance, and, towards the church 
of Christ, a second Peter. These lines have been written on 
him : — In him 

" The church a buckler had, the people peace. 
The wretch a leader — second of his name ; 

While thrice ten years and five his reign enclose. 
Kerrera's Isle beheld his soul's release, 

Blest fellowship with saints on high to claim ; 
His earthly bones lie buried at Melrose." 

He, also, together with his mother Ermengarde, founded and 
endowed the abbey of Saint Edward of Balmurinath (Balmerino), 
whither was sent the brotherhood of Melrose, with the Lord Alan, 
the abbot thereof, on the day of Saint Lucy the Virgin, in the 
year 1229; and there, four years afterwards, was buried that 
same noble queen Ermengarde, his mother — to wit, in the year 
1323, the foi-ty-seventh after her betrothal. 




Alexander, son of the aforesaid King Alexander, a boy of 
eight years of age, came to Scone on the following Tuesday, the 
1 3th of July, with a number of earls, barons, and knights. There 
were, likewise, there, the venerable fathers, David of Bernham, 
bishop of Saint Andrews, and Galfrid, bishop of Dunkeld, a 
man in great favour with both clergy and people, zealous in 
temporal and spiritual things, who endeared himself with both 
great and poor, but was a terror to evil-doers. The abbot of 
the monastery of Scone itself was also there. But lo ! as soon 
as they were gathered together, there arose a dispute among the 
nobles. For some of them would have made not a king, but a 
knight, on that day, saying that it was an Egyptian day. Now 
this was said not because of the Egyptian day, but because the 
lord Alan Dorwart, then justiciary of the whole of Scotland, 
wished to gird Alexander with the sword of knighthood on that 
day. While they were arguing, the lord Walter Comyn, Earl 
of Menteith, a man of foresight and shrewdness in counsel, an- 
swered and said that he had seen a king consecrated who was 
not yet a knight, and had many a time heard of kings being 
consecrated who were not knights ; and he went on to say that 
a country without a king was, beyond a doubt, like a ship amid 
the waves of the sea, without rower or steersman. For he had 
always loved King Alexander, of pious memory, now deceased 
- — and this boy also for his father's sake. So he moved that 
this boy be raised to the throne as quickly as possible, — for it 
is always hurtful to put off what may be done at once ; and, by 
his advice, the said bishops and abbot, as well as the nobles, 
and the whole clergy and people, with one voice, gave their con- 
sent and assent to his being set up as king. 

Coronation of King Alexander III. at Scone. 

And it came to pass that when this same earl, Walter Comyn, 
and all the clergy, heard this, they joined unto them some earls — 
namely, the lord Malcolm, Earl of Fife, and the lord Malise, Earl 
of Stratherne — and a great many other nobles, and led Alexander, 
soontobe their king, up to the cross which stands in the graveyard, 
at the east end of the church. There they set him on the royal 
throne, which was decked with silken cloths inwoven with gold ; 
and the bishop of Saint Andrews, assisted by the rest, consecrated 
him king, as was meet. So the king sat down upon the royal 
throne — that is, the stone — while the earls and other nobles, on 



bended knee, strewed their garments under his feet, before the 
stone. Now, this stone is reverently kept in that same monastery, 
for the consecration of the kings of Albania ; and no king was 
ever wont to reign in Scotland, unless he had first, on receiving 
the name of king, sat upon this stone at Scone, which, by the 
kings of old, had been appointed the capital of Albania. But 
lo ! when all was over, a highland Scot suddenly fell on his 
knees before the throne, and, bowing his head, hailed the king 
in his mother tongue, saying these words in Scottish ; — " Benach 
de Ee Albanne Alexander, MacAlexander, MacYleyham, Mac- 
Henri, MacDavid," — and, reciting it thus, he read off, even 
unto the end, the pedigree of the kings of Scots. This means, 
in English : — " Hail, king of the Albanians, Alexander, son of 
Alexander, son of William, son of Henry, son of David, son of 
Malcolm, son of Duncan, son of Beatrice, daughter of Malcolm, 
son of Kenath, son of Malcolm, son of Donald, son of Constan- 
tino, son of Kenath, son of Alpine, son of Ethach, son of Etha- 
find, son of Echdach, son of Donald Brek, son of Echa Vuid, son 
of Edaim, son of Cobram, son of Donengard, son of Fergus the 
Great, son of Erth, son of Etehac Munremor, son of Engusafich, 
son of Eechelmech as Lingich, son of Enegussa Buchin, son of 
Eechelmech Eomaith, son of Sencormach, son of Crinchlinth, son 
of Findachai, son of Akirkirre, son of Ecchach Andoch, son of 
Fiachrach Catmall, son of Ecddach Kied, son of Conor, son of 
Mogalama, son of Lugthag Etholach, son of Corbre Crumgring, 
son of Darediomore, son of Corbre Findinor, son of Coneremore, 
son of Ederskeol, son of Ewein, son of Eliela, son of Jair, 
son of Dethach, son of Sin, son of Kosin, son of There, 
son of Rether, son of Eowen, son of Arindil, son of Mane, 
son of Fergus, first king of Scots in Albania." This Fergus also 
was the son of Feredach, although he is, by some, called the son 
of Ferechere ; but these differ little in sound. This discrepancy 
is perhaps due to a blunder of the writer, from the word being 
hard to utter. Then the said Scot, going on with the said pedi- 
gree, from man to man, read through until he came to the first 
Scot— namely, Iber Scot. This Iber was the son of Gaithel 
Glas, son of Neoilus, whilom king of Athens ; and was begotten 
of Scota, daughter of the Pharaoh Chenthres, king of Egypt. 


Again, in the second year of King Alexander iii., on the 1 9th 
of June 1250, this king, and the queen his mother, with bishops 
and abbots, earls and barons, and other good men, both clerics 
and laymen, in great numbers, met at Dunfermline, and took 



up, in great state, the bones of the blessed Margaret, sometime 
queen of Scots, out of the stone monument where they had lain 
through a long course of years ; and these they laid, with the 
deepest devoutness, in a shrine of deal, set with gold and pre- 
cious stones. Meanwhile, the magnates of Scotland saw the 
danger in the country being under the governance of a boy 
king, and that his councillors, who w^ere perhaps the greatest 
men of the whole kingdom, were swayed by the advantages 
each one had to gain. So, in order to avoid these and other 
threatening dangers, they, by the advice of the clergy, despatched 
a solemn embassy to Henry, king of England, to the end that 
the treaty of peace formerly made between him and the late 
king Alexander might be renewed, and most firmly secured by 
an alliance through a marriage to be contracted between the 
young king Alexander and this same King Henry's daughter. 
So, when this embassy came to London, the king of England 
granted all their demands to their hearts' content ; and he also 
sent back with them to the king of Scotland, an embassy of his 
own, to ask him to come with his advisers and magnates, under 
the king's safe-conduct, sealed with the seals of the lords of 
England, and meet him and his councillors at York, on the 
following Christmas, in- order to settle the aforesaid business. 
Accordingly, Alexander, king of Scotland, and Henry, king of 
England, with the chiefs of either kingdom, met there, and all 
things were happily settled, even as they had before been ar- 
ranged ; while the kings and the lords of both kingdoms swore, 
with their hands upon the most holy Gospels, that they should 
thenceforth be faithfully kept. Never did any of the English 
or British kings, in any past time, keep his pledges towards 
the Scots more faithfully or more steadfastly than this Henry ; 
for, nearly the whole time of his reign, he was looked upon by 
the kings of Scotland, father and son, as their most faithful 
neighbour and adviser ; — a thing which never, or seldom, had 
happened, save in the days — alas ! so few — of Eichard Cceur 
de Lion. 

Alexander, king of Scotland, therefore, a boy of nine, there 
received the honour of knighthood at the hands of Henry, king 
of England, on Christmas Day, amid the greatest joy and good 
wishes of the lords of either kingdom ; and, on the morrow — 
that is, on Saint Stephen's Day — the king of England gave his 
first-born daughter, named Margaret, in marriage to the king of 
Scotland. Meanwhile, some persons there were being accused 


before the king, by Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, and Wil- 
liam, Earl of Mar, of treason towards him. By reason whereof 
some were afraid, and went home again stealthily, like cowards. 
The king of Scotland, however, having, by the advice of the 
king and magnates of England, arranged and regulated every- 
thing with moderation, went home again with his consort, and, 
disguising his intentions, awaited better times for correcting 
excesses of this kind. Eobert, abbot of Dunfermline, likewise, 
the king's chancellor, was accused of intending to legitimate, 
by the great seal, the king's illegitimate sister (namely, the 
wife of Alan, the Hostiary), so that she might become the king's 
heiress in the succession to the throne. But as soon as he 
came back to Scotland, he gave up the seal to the king and his 
magnates, and it was straightway broken up in the people's 
sight ; while a smaller seal was given to Gamelin, who became 
the king's chancellor, and who, the third year after, was chosen 
bishop of Saint Andrews. Meanwhile, all the king's first coun- 
cillors were dismissed, and fresh ones created : namely, Walter 
Comyn, Earl of Menteith ; Alexander Comyn, of Buchan ; Wil- 
liam Earl of Mar ; and Eobert of Eoss, the king's cousin. But 
these councillors were so many kings. For he who saw the 
poor crushed down in those days, the nobles ousted from their 
inheritance, the drudgery forced upon citizens, the violence 
done to churches, might with good reason say, " Woe unto the 
kingdom where the king is a boy !" 


When, therefore, judgment and righteousness in the kingdom 
of Scotland were slumbering, Henry, king of England, of the 
good- will he bore his son the king, and the lords, on being be- 
sought of them, came, like a leal father, to Wark Castle. There 
the kings and their advisers set busily to work to talk over the 
state of the kingdom of Scotland. All the Scottish king's 
councillors were forthwith dismissed from their offices ; and 
Eichard bishop of Dunkeld was appointed his chancellor — 
David of Lyndsay, chamberlain — and Alan Durward, high jus- 
ticiary, for seven years. But when that peaceful King Henry 
had returned with his train, a great feud arose among the mag- 
nates of Scotland, by reason of the king's new councillors de- 
manding from his former councillors an account of the king's 
squandered goods, and calling upon them, by letters obliga- 
tory, to answer for their deeds. On his way back, the king of 
England slew many Jews at Lincoln, because they had ruth- 
lessly kiUed a boy, named Hugh, and made a holy martyr of 


him. For this he hanged some on the gallows, and others he 
caused to be hunted down by horses through the streets ; for 
they had hung the said child upon a cross, and put him to 
death there. 


Walter Comyn, Earl of Menteith, and his accomplices, were 
more than once summoned before the king and his councillors, 
upon many grave charges ; but they did not appear. But as 
they durst not await their trial according to the statutes of the 
kingdom, they took counsel together, and, with one accord, 
seized the king, by night, while he was asleep in bed at Kin- 
ross, and, before dawn, carried him off with them to Strivilyn 
(StirKng), the day after that of Saint Simon and Saint Jude, in 
the year 1257. They also took away by force the great seal, 
which was held by Master Kobert Stutewill, dean of Dunkeld, 
and vice-chancellor to Eichard, bishop of Dunkeld. The ring- 
leaders in this kidnapping were Walter Comyn, Earl of Men- 
teith — Alexander Comyn, Earl of Buchan — William Earl of 
Mar, a man of great shrewdness in evil deeds — John Comyn, 
a man prone to robbery and rashness — Hugh of Abernethy — 
David of Lochore — Hugh of Barclay — and a great many other 
hangers-on of these disaffected men, who did all as they pleased 
and naught as was lawful, and reigned over the people, right or 
wrong. And thus the last going astray was worse than the 
first. Thenceforth there arose much persecution and distress 
among the Scots lords ; because the king's later advisers strove 
to pay back to the former ones the evils and losses they them- 
selves had erst undergone. Whereupon there followed such 
grinding of the poor and robbing of churches, as have not been 
seen in Scotland in our day. 


But Walter Comyn, the oft-mentioned Earl of Menteith, 
who was the leader of those who had seized the king, died a 
sudden death — poisoned, it is said, by his wife. Upon his 
death, the countess, his wife, disdaining the noble lords who 
wished to wed her, married a low-born English knight, named 
John Eussel. The magnates of Scotland took this in high 
dudgeon, and charged her with the death of the earl, her former 
husband ; so both John himself and the countess were loaded 
with chains. Then Walter Bullock, on his wife's behalf, boldly 
claimed the earldom of Menteith, and got the magnates to side 


with him. The countess, however, unable to make head against 
the attacks of so many adversaries, took a sum of money, and, 
with her husband, set off out of Scotland in disgrace. Then 
she sent messengers to the court of Eome, to complain of the 
violence done her, and of having been despoiled of her inherit- 
ance ; and, at her request, an envoy, named Pontius, was after- 
wards sent from our lord the Pope Urban, into England, and 
came to York, to make inquiry, at our lord the Pope's special 
command, into the wrongs and annoyances unjustly inflicted 
upon that countess. So Pontius had this Walter Bullock, the 
holder of the said earldom, summoned, as well as well-nigh all the 
bishops, abbots, and lords of Scotland, to bear witness to the 
truth in this matter. Now this was against the privileges of 
the king and kingdom of Scotland — that any one should be 
called to account by any one outside his own borders. So the 
king, considering that not only were he himself, and his king- 
dom, and his people, aggrieved by this summons, but also his 
ancient privileges were, in this respect, done away with, since 
he himself was ready to decide this cause according to the laws 
of his kingdom, brooked not that he and his country should be 
any longer unduly put upon, and appealed to the supreme 
pontiff against the said Pontius. And so this suit is still 
pending under discussion. 


On the 9th of May 1261, in the thirteenth year of King 
Alexander, a stately and venerable cross was found at Peebles, 
in the presence of good men, priests, clerics, and burgesses. 
But it is quite unknown in what year and by what per- 
sons it was hidden there. It is, however, believed that it was 
hidden by some of the faithful, about the year of Our Lord 
296, while Maximian's persecution was raging in Britain. Not 
long after this, a stone urn was discovered there, about three 
or four paces from the spot where that glorious cross had been 
found. It contained the ashes and bones of a man's body — 
torn limb from limb, as it were. Whose relics these are, no one 
knows as yet. Some, however, think they are the relics of him 
whose name was found written in the very stone wherein that 
holy cross was lying. Now there was carved in that stone, 
outside, " Tomb of the Bishop Saint Nicholas." Moreover, in 
the very spot where the cross was found, many a miracle was, 
and is, wrought by that cross ; and the people poured, and still 
pour, thither in crowds, devoutly bringing their offerings and 
vows to God. Wherefore the king, by the advice of the bishop 


of Glasgow, had a handsome church made there, to the honour 
of God and the Holy Cross. That same year — on the last day 
of February, to wit — was born the king's first-born daughter, 
named Margaret, who was afterwards betrothed to the king of 

LV. ' 

About the Feast of the blessed Peter, which is called ad vm- 
cula, in the year 1263, Hako, king of Norway, came to the new 
castle of Ayr, with eight score war-ships, having on board 20,000 
fighting men : for he said that all the Scottish islands lying 
between Ireland and Scotland were his by right of inheritance. 
So he took the castles of Bothe (Bute) and Man, and sacked 
the churches along the sea-board. Whereupon, at God's com- 
mand, on the very day that both the kings had appointed for 
battle, there arose, at sea, a very violent storm, which dashed 
the ships together ; and a great part of the fleet dragged their 
anchors, and were roughly cast on shore, whether they would 
or not. Then the king's army came against them, and swept 
down many, both nobles and serfs ; and a Norican (Norwegian), 
King Hako's nephew, a man of great might and vigour, was 
killed. On account of this, the king of the Noricans (Nor- 
wegians) himself, sorrowing deeply, hurried back, in no little 
dismay, to Orkney ; and while wintering there, awaiting a 
stronger force to fight it out with the Scots, he died. These 
rhymes have been made about him : — 

" Hako, that bold and mighty lord. 
Of lamblike gentleness, 
Holds o'er the unjust his threat'ning sword. 
But does the just caress." 

He was succeeded by his son, named Magnus, a man of great 
wisdom and good sense, and renowned for his love of letters. 
The following was made up about him in like manner : — 

" I rule the Noric coast ; 
Magnus the name I boast." 


On the 21st of December 1264— the day of St. Agnes the 
Virgin — there was born unto King Alexander, at Jedworth 
(Jedburgh), a son, called by his father's name — to wit, Alex- 
ander. Therefore God's praises rang throughout all the ends of 
Scotland, for a twofold cause : namely, that in one and the same 
day the king got news, by one messenger, of the death of the 

296 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

king of the Norwegians, who troubled the king and king- 
dom ; and, by another, of the birth of his young son. But as 
soon as the death of Hako, king of the Norwegians, was made 
known to the king of Scotland, the latter hastily got a strong 
army together, and made ready to set out, with a fleet, towards 
the Isle of Man. The king of Man, however, hearing of this, 
and being panic-stricken, despatched his ambassadors to the 
king to beg that a truce might be granted him, so that he might 
present himself before the king in Scotland. But the king was 
prudent enough not to swerve from his purpose, or turn back ; 
but, after sending the king of Man a safe-conduct, he quickly 
mustered his troops, and, at their head, made for the Isle of 
Man. When the king of Scotland had reached the town of 
Dumfries, that petty king met him, and became his man, doing 
homage unto him for his petty kingdom, which he was to hold 
of him for ever ; — upon this condition, however : that if the king 
of the Norwegians, for the time being, undertook to molest him, 
he should have safe shelter for him and his in Scotland, for all 
time to come ; while, on the other hand, the petty king of Man 
should furnish to his lord, the king of Scotland, as often as the 
latter had need of them, ten war galleys — five twenty-four-oared, 
and five more twelve-oared. When this business was settled, 
Alexander Earl of Buchan, William Earl of Mar, and Alan the 
Hostiary, took with them, with due haste, by the king's instruc- 
tions, no mean band of knights and natives, and went to the 
Western Isles of Scotland, where they slew those traitors who 
had, the year before, encouraged the king of Norway to bring 
up in Scotland. Some of these they put to flight ; and, having 
hanged some of the chiefs, they brought with them thence 
exceeding great plunder. 


The following year, Hako's son, Magnus, king of Norway, 
sent his chancellor, Gilbert, bishop of Hamere, to Alexander, 
king of Scotland, at Perth, to offer him the islands of Bute and 
Aranch (Arran), to be had in peaceful possession for ever, pro- 
vided, however, that he himself might hold in peace all the 
other islands which his father Hako had demanded. The king 
scouted the very idea of this ; so the bishop, having heard the 
answer to his message, went off to his own country, and pointed 
out to his king that his trouble had been thrown away. He 
advised the king, however, to treat with the Scots. The next 
following year, therefore — that is, in 1266 — this same Norican 
king, Magnus, sent his chancellor and others of his magnates 


into Scotland, to bestow upon Alexander, king of Scots, on 
behalf of their lord the king of Norway, by letters embodying 
his resolution, all the islands between Scotland and Ireland, 
which his father Hako had declared to be his ; and they also 
gave back to the said king of Scots all right or claim which 
King Magnus himself, or any of his predecessors, had ever had 
on the said islands : Provided, however, that, on his side, the 
king of Scots paid to the said king of Norway 4000 merks of 
silver within two years, and afterwards 100 merks a year to 
him and his heirs. Now, though this covenant gave satisfaction 
to some, yet to more it was distasteful. For, through a long 
course of time, long before the Scots had come to Britain, hav- 
ing been first brought in by Eugenius Kothay, a leader of theirs, 
had they been dwelling in the aforesaid islands ; and thereafter, 
until that deadly time of the struggle of the sons of Malcolm 
Canmore, king of Scotland, against their uncle Donald — when 
the kingdom was wholly split up, and the Norican king Magnus, 
son of Olave, attacked the islands in great force, and brought 
them under his sovereignty — the Scots had possessed the same 
continually, without any break or hindrance. 


The year before, a great feud had arisen between Henry, king 
of England, and his son Edward, on the one hand, and Simon 
de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and the magnates of England, on 
the other. These magnates cast out of England, in dismay, 
Eleanor, queen of England, and all of French birth. But the king 
and his son gathered a strong army together from all sides, and 
fought a battle against the said magnates at Lewes. At length, 
after no little slaughter of lords and people had been made on 
either side, the king and his son Edward were taken, as well as 
John Comyn, and some others from Scotland, who, at the Scots 
king's bidding, had come to King Henry's rescue, and were 
taken and thrust into prison in London. Afterwards, however, 
the English king's son, Edward, who had been kept in the 
closest custody, escaped by unheard-of cleverness, through the 
management of Gilbert Earl of Gloucester. Thereupon a large 
army was assembled from all sides, and a desperate battle was 
fought at Evesham, between the said Edward and Simon de 
Montfort. In this struggle, Simon himself and his first-born, 
Henry, were killed ; and it is said that eighty-seven lords and 
three hundred nobles, besides serfs and foot, fell in this battle. 
Now King Alexander had, of his own free will, levied three men 
from every hyde of land, to despatch them to the assistance of 


the king of England and his son Edward, in this war ; but, hearing 
of the overthrow of Simon and his confederates, the Scots people 
were spared this trouble. All who had stood out with Simon in 
the war were disinherited, and outlawed from England ; so that, 
within a week, the king bestowed, it said, the lands of 17,560 
nobles upon aliens. There were, however, deadly plots at that 
time between the king and the rest of the barons. Villages were 
burnt down, towns razed to the ground, churches sacked ; and 
there was never any peace or security. The king's son Edward, 
at length, wishing to bring under his yoke all those who had 
rebelled against him, took John de Vesci, and some others, by 
stealth, at Alnwick Castle, and sent them over to London ; then 
he took up his quarters at Roxburgh, in order to have an inter- 
view with the king of Scotland. He was met by the king of 
Scotland and Queen Margaret, sister to the said Edward, and 
nearly all the nobility of Scotland ; and after many rejoicings 
and compliments made by each to the other, they returned 
home in joy* 


Meanwhile Ottobonus, legate of the Eoman See, came to 
England to restore peace between the king and the barons, and 
took up his abode in Loudon. Considering, however, that he 
was labouring in vain, he wrote to the bishpps of Scotland to send 
him four merks from every parish church, and six merks from 
every cathedral church, by way of procuration. But King 
Alexander of Scotland, having received this money — 2000 merks 
— from the clergy, utterly forbade that this should be done ; and, 
moreover, appealed to the Apostolic See about it. Then, in the 
year 1268, all the bishops of Scotland were summoned by this 
same legate, Ottobonus, to compear before him, wherever he might 
be, in the fortnight after Easter, to hold his council. In like 
manner he commanded the clergy of Scotland to send either two 
abbots, or two priors, for the whole kingdom of Scotland. The 
bishops, in a general council, deputed Kichard, bishop of Dun- 
keld, and Robert, bishop of Dunblane, on their behalf, so that 
nothing which could damage or aggrieve them might be enacted 
in their absence. But the rest of the clergy sent, on their 
behalf, the abbot of Dunfermline and the prior of Lindores. 
So the legate enacted some new statutes — chiefly about the 
secular and regular priests of the Scots — which the bishops of 
Scotland utterly refused to abide by. That same year, many, 
in all lands, took the badge of the cross against the Saracens. 
Louis, the most Christian king of France, with a great swarm 


of his lords, took the badge of the cross. So did Edward and 
Edmund, sons of the king of England, and a great crowd of 
Englishmen with them. For the expenses of these, Pope 
Clement, by the advice of Ottobomis, and at the instance of the 
king of England, wrote to the clergy of Scotland to pay to the 
king of England every tenth penny of all the income of their 
Church. The king and clergy, however, with one voice and 
with one heart, scorned to do this. But, the following year, 
Henry, king of England, again sent his ambassadors into Scot- 
land, to ask the clergy for one penny in ten ; and the clergy, as 
before, protested, appealed to our lord the Pope, and sent clerks 
to his court. 


In the year 1271, Louis, king of Prance, after he had won 
from the discomfited Saracens a certain very large island named 
Barbary, met his doom ; as did his first-born son Louis, and 
much people of the Christians with them — among others, David 
Earl of Athol, and Adam Earl of Carrick, and a great many 
other Scottish and English nobles. Now Adam Earl of Carrick 
left an only daughter, named Martha, as his heiress ; and she 
succeeded him in his domain and earldom. After she had, 
therefore, become mistress of her father's domain, as she was, 
one day, going out hunting at random, with her esquires and 
handmaidens, she met a gallant knight riding across the same 
country — a most seemly youth, named Kobert of Bruce, son 
of Eobert, surnamed the Bruce, the noble lord of Annandale 
in Scotland, and of Cleveland, in England. When greetings 
and kisses had been given on each side, as is the wont 
of courtiers, she besought him to stay and hunt, and walk 
about ; and seeing that he was rather unwilling to do so, she 
by force, so to speak, with her own hand, made him pull up, and 
brought the knight, although very loath, to her castle of Turn- 
berry with her. After dallying there, with his followers, for 
the space of fifteen days or more, he clandestinely took the 
countess to wife ; while the friends and well-wishers of both 
knew nothing about it, nor had the king's consent been got at 
all in the matter. Therefore the common belief of the whole 
country was that she had seized — by force, as it were — this 
youth for her husband. But when this came to King Alex- 
ander's ears, he took the castle of Turnberry, and made all her 
other lands and possessions be acknowledged as in his hands ; 
because she had wedded with Eobert of Bruce without having 
consulted his royal majesty. By means of the prayers of friends, 


however, and by a certain sum of money agreed upon, this 
Eobert gained the king's goodwill, and the whole domain. Of 
Martha, by God's providence, he begat a son, who was to be the 
saviour, champion, and king, of the bruised Scottish people, as 
the course of the history will show forth ; and his father's name 
Kobert, was given him. 

" In twelve seven four since Christ our manhood wore, 
And at the feast when Benedict deceased. 
That noble knight, King Eobert, saw the light. 
Called from the womb by Heaven's almighty doom." 


When a very old man, Henry, that most peaceable king of 
England, after having governed his kingdom in the greatest 
peace and righteousness for fifty-six years, flitted to Christ, on 
the 20th of November 1273, the twenty- fourth year of the reign 
of Alexander, king of Scots ; and he was buried at "Westminster, 
in London. He was succeeded on the throne of England by his 
son, Edward, called Longshanks, who was then in the Holy 
Land ; and all the magnates, clergy, and people of England 
swore fealty to Edward while he still kept on in the wars 
with the barbarians. When Edward afterwards came back, the 
king of Scotland, with his queen and children, made every 
effort to be present at his coronation, which took place in 
London, on the day of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin 
Mary, in the year 1274. The king of Scotland was there, with 
great pomp ; as were also the queen, and many lords and nobles. 
That same year, however, on the 26 th of February, the said queen 
of Scotland, Margaret, King Henry's daughter, and this King 
Edward's sister, died at the castle of Cupar, and was entombed 
beside King David, at Dunfermline. The third year after. King 
Alexander went on a pilgrimage, to Saint Thomas, in England ; 
and there, without prejudice to all his dignities, did homage to 
Edward, king of England, as he had formerly done to Edward's 
father also, for his lands in England : namely, for the lands and 
lordship of Penrith, and sundry others, which King Heniy had 
given him of old, as a marriage portion with his daughter Mar- 
garet, queen of Scotland, now deceased ; also for the other lands 
and ancient honours formerly possessed by his predecessors the 
kings of Scotland, except the earldom of Huntingdon — for 
which domain Simon, abbot of Dunfermline, and William Earl 
of Mar, had erst been sent by the aforesaid Alexander, king of 
Scotland, to that same King Henry, almost in his last days ; 


but Henry would on no account give it up, and kept the whole 
earldom for himself, though the king of Scotland had, through 
his forefathers, been holding the honours thereof from days of 
yore, and possessed them wholly at the time of the peace. 


Master Baiamund was sent by our lord the Pope, and came 
to Scotland, to levy and put by the tithes, as an aid for the 
Holy Land. On the day after the Feast of the king and martyr, 
Saint Oswald, in the year 1275, he held his council at Perth 
and, at a sitting there, together with the bishops and clergy, he 
decreed that all the beneficed clergy, without excepting any — 
not even the privileged — should, under stress of an oath and of 
excommunication, pay tithes of all the goods and income of the 
Chui'ch, not after the old taxation, but according to their real 
worth. Moreover, this Baiamund, at the request of the bishops 
and abbots, went back to court, to beg our lord the Pope, on 
behalf of the clergy of Scotland, to take the old taxations of 
all their goods, whereby seven years were reckoned as only six. 
But he came back to Scotland without having sped well. 
Meanwhile, through the bishop of Durham, there sprung up a 
dispute between Alexander, king of Scotland, and Edward, king 
of England, about the boundaries and marches of the two king- 
doms. To settle this dispute, three bishops of Scotland — those 
of Saint Andrews, Glasgow, and Dunblane — with a great many 
earls and other nobles, met, on behalf of the king of Scotland, 
at Berwick-on-Tweed, in the middle of Lent, in the year 1278 ; 
while, on behalf of the king of England, there met, at Tweed- 
mouth, the bishops of Norwich and Durham, the Sheriff of 
Newcastle, and a great many other knights and clergy, to treat 
of the aforesaid boundaries and marches. But they went away 
without having settled the business. 


On the Sunday next after Martinmas, in the winter of the 
year 1282, the lord Alexander, son of Alexander, king of Scot- 
land, took to wife, at Eoxburgh, the daughter of the lord count 
of Flanders, in the presence of many Flemish knights and ladies, 
amid unbounded joy and compliments. A great many Scottish 
bishops, abbots, earls, barons, knights, and the other nobles, 
also, were there met together ; and after remaining there for the 
space of fifteen days, when the wedding had been solemnized in 
great state, they at length hied them home again. But, alas ! 


this great joy was, within a short time, followed by deep 
mourning. For this Alexander, this gallant youth, who, it was 
hoped, would have been the heir to the Scots throne, died, the 
next year, at Lindores, in the twentieth year of his age, and 
was buried at Dunfermline, amid the boundless grief of the 
whole people, the tears and groans of all the clergy, and the 
endless sobs of the king and the magnates. He died in the 
year 1283. His younger brother, David, moreover, had de- 
parted this life before him, at Strivelyn (Stirling) Castle, at the 
end of the month of June 1281, amid the deep wailing of all 
the Scots, and the still deeper wailing of the king ; and he lies 
buried in the monastery of Dunfermline. His death was the 
beginning of Scotland's sorrows to come. Alas ! woe worth the 
day, Scotland ! for, even though thou had known that so 
many days of mourning and tears were in store for thee, evils 
so great are hastening upon thee without fail, 

" That, if thou knew, thou ne'er could think to bear them." 

But after the death of the aforesaid Alexander, the king's first- 
born, four knights, sent by the count of Flanders, came to our 
lord the king of Scotland, in order to bring to her father, the 
aforesaid count, his daughter, the widow of Alexander, the 
king's son lately deceased. Our lord the king and his councillors 
were long in treaty on this matter, and, at length, agreed that 
the aforesaid lady should go back to her father, without plight- 
ing her troth to our lord king for her dowry. This was done 
accordingly ; and they were sent away with gifts, and hied them 


Margaret, likewise, the king's only daughter, was, before her 
brother Alexander died, betrothed to Hangow, king of Norway, 
and, about the beginning of the month of August, she crossed 
the water with a noble train — with Earl Walter and the countess 
of Menteith, the abbot of Balmurinach (Balmerino), Barnard 
of Montealt, and many other knights and nobles. Of these, 
while on their way back, after the solemn celebration of the 
nuptials, the said ^ abbot, and Barnard, and many others, were 
drowned. But Earl Walter and his wife sped back safely to 
Scotland from Norway. This lady Margaret, however, queen 
of the Norwegians, after she had lived a year and a half 
with the king, her husband, paid the debt of nature on the 
9th of April, the beginning of the same year her brother Alex- 
ander died. Of her, the Norican king begat only one daughter, 


also named Margaret, who likewise departed this life — as will 
be told below — as soon as she was grown up. The king of 
Norway, however, after the death of the queen, his spouse, and 
daughter of the king of Scotland, sent a solemn embassy to the 
latter king, to ask and recover, for the use of his own daughter 
aforesaid — the Scottish king's granddaughter, to wit — a rent of 
seven hundred merks on certain lands, according to covenants 
entered upon between those kings, and supported by writs. 
The king welcomed these ambassadors kindly, and, despatching, 
by the advice of his lords, an embassy of his own to the Nor- 
wegian king, sent them back in honour, with vast and sundry 


Now, in these days — namely, in the year 1281 — the English 
king Edward, with a countless host, made his way into Wales, 
where he overcame Llewellyn, the prince of the British nation ; 
and, after much people had been killed on either side, at length 
the prince himself was ruthlessly and seditiously murdered. 
So King Edward, by fierce warfare, made himself lord of the 
whole of Wales, and superior of the remains of the Britons. 
Therefore, to show his great gladness, and on account of the 
wished-for victory gained over the Welsh, he held a round table 
in Wales, at the foot of Snowdon. This king, also, carried off 
by force the whole of the papal tithes collected in his kingdom 
for six years, according to the real worth of all the income of 
the Church, in aid of the Holy Land, and put by in sundry 
monasteries and cathedral churches of his kingdom — the 
journey to the Holy Land being thus thwarted. With this 
countless sum of money, therefore, it is said, he got Wales, he 
fortified the strongholds, castles, and town walls thereof, and, 
at the cost of that money, he allayed a most grievous war 
which he shortly afterwards waged against the Scots. Mean- 
while David, brother to this Llewellyn, prince of Wales, had 
this judgment passed upon him, in London, by that same tyrant 
king : that he should be drawn by horses as a traitor, hanged 
as a robber, beheaded as a freebooter, that his bowels should be 
burnt, and his body quartered, one part of his body being sent 
to each of the four parts of the kingdom. Moreover, he issued 
there this edict, which was cried by the voice of heralds through- 
out all England and Wales : that no one of British birth, of what- 
ever condition he might be, should spend a night within walled 
towns, castles, strongholds, or any fortresses whatever, on pain of 
loss of life and limb. This chapter is shortly introduced there. 

304 JOHN OF fokdun's chronicle 

lest any foreign nation which may read the said history should, 
unchastened by the example of the Welsh, unwarily fall under 
the dominion of most wretched thraldom to the English. 


In the tenth year after the queen's death — namely, in 1284 — 
King Alexander, by the advice of his liegemen, took steps to 
send his ambassadors — to wit, his chancellor, Thomas of Char- 
teris, Patrick of Gramme, William of St. Clair, and John of 
Soulis, knights — to look him out a spouse sprung of a noble 
stock. So, without delay or tarrying at all, they went off 
to France, after the Feast of Candlemas. 


Betrothal of Yolande, Daughter of the Count of Dreux, in France, 
to Alexander III., King of Scots — This King's Death. 

The Lord Alexander iii., king of Scotland, was, on the day of 
Saint Calixtus, betrothed to Yolande, daughter of the count of 
Dreux ; and a great many nobles, both of France and Scotland, 
with a countless throng of both sexes, solemnly met together 
to celebrate their nuptials royally. When these were over, the 
French, except a few who abode with the queen, hied back in 
gladness, laden with various gifts. The same year, on the 1 9tli 
of March, this Alexander of goodly memory, the illustrious 
king of Scotland, died at Kinghorn, and was buried in state at 
Dunfermline. How worthy of tears, and how hurtful, his death 
was to the kingdom of Scotland, is plainly shown forth by the 
evils of after times. This king reigned thirty-six years. All 
the days of the life of this king, the Church of Christ flourished, 
her priests were honoured with due worship, vice was withered, 
craft there was none, wrong came to an end, truth was strong, 
and righteousness reigned. Moreover, rightly, and by reason of 
the merits of his uprightness, was he called king : seeing that 
he ruled himself and his people aright, allowing unto each his 
rights ; and if, at any time, any of his people rebelled, he curbed 
their madness with discipline so unbending, that they would 
put a rope round their necks, ready for hanging, were that his will 
and pleasure, and bow themselves under his rule. By reason 
whereof he was looked upon with equal fear and love, both far and 
near, not only by his friends, but also by his adversaries, — and 
especially by the English. And all the time he lived upon earth 


security reigned in steadfastness of peace and quiet, and glee- 
ful freedom. Scotland, truly unhappy, when bereft of so 
great a leader and pilot ; while — greater unhappiness still ! — he 
left no lawful offspring to succeed liiin. Thou hast an everlast- 
ing spring of mourning and sorrow in the death of one whose 
praiseworthy life bestowed, on thee especially, such increase of 


Beginning of the government of the Guardians after King 
Alexander's death. 

When, however, the aforesaid noble prince was dead, as well 
as all the children begotten of his body, and all his lawful heirs 
and kinsmen, in any way, either lineally or collaterally, descended 
from his grandfather King William — except one little girl, 
named Margaret, the daughter of Margaret, queen of Norway, 
late daughter of the aforesaid King Alexander —the kingdom of 
Scotland was six years and nine months without the governance 
of a king — as was said in the old prophecy : — 

" While twice three years, and moons thrice three roll by, 
Under no prince the widow'd land shall lie." 

So it was governed by six guardians : namely, William Fraser, 
lord bishop of Saint Andrews — ^Duncan, Earl of Fife — and John 
Comyn, Earl of Buchan, deputed from the northern part, this 
side of the Forth ; and Eobert, bishop of Glasgow — the lord 
John Comyn — and James, steward of Scotland, appointed from 
the southern side of the water of Forth. Duncan of Fife, how- 
ever, shortly afterwards put off this mortal coil, as will be seen 
further on. But, while the aforesaid number of years still 
lasted, Edward I., king of England, a noble prince, seeing that 
the aforesaid girl, named Margaret (daughter of the king of 
Norway, as well as daughter of his own sister's daughter), 
was the true and lawful heiress of the kingdom of Scotland, 
and aiming, wdth all zeal and earnestness, at joining and 
uniting the aforesaid kingdom of Scotland to his own king- 
dom, ordained and appointed, in the year 1289, six special 
commissioners and envoys extraordinary, to arrange, plan, 
and treat, between himself and the aforesaid guardians of Scot- 
land, as well as the other bishops and the whole of the clergy, 
and the nobles — earls and barons — and the whole Estates of 
the realm, for contracting a marriage between Edward, his own 
son and heir, and the aforesaid Margaret, then the true heiress 
of Scotland. 

VOL. II. ' - u 



Now when the ambassadors had told their business, and were 
duly carrying on negotiations with the nobles of the aforesaid 
Estates, the before-mentioned guardians, by the advice of the 
others of the kingdom, determined that they would agree to the 
request of those ambassadors : provided, however, that, with 
respect to the rights and customs, both lay and ecclesiastical, 
theretofore used and kept, the kingdom of Scotland were as 
free and quit of all thraldom and subjection, as ever it had been, 
at its best and freest, during the lifetime of Alexander iii., the 
illustrious king thereof ; — according to what appears in a cer- 
tain instrument drawn up by them, a copy whereof is more 
fully contained in the book of the pleading of Baldred. And 
in case the aforesaid marriage did not hold good, or either of 
the contracting parties deceased without issue, while the other 
survived, — in any case or event, the aforesaid kingdom was to 
be freely, entirely, and absolutely, without any subjection, 
restored and returned to the next heirs. So, in order that the 
said matter might be carried through to the end wished for, the 
nobles of Scotland solemnly despatched to the king of Norway, 
two knights, distinguished for their knowledge and character — 
Michael of Wemyss and Michael Scot — to perform the mar- 
riage, and bring the girl to the kingdom. But, woe worth the 
day ! before the thing was consummated, the said maiden de- 
parted this life, in the year 1291. Upon her death, a dispute 
straightway arose between John of Balliol and Eobert of Bruce 
the elder (for there were three then alive, called by the same 
name : to wit, Eobert, this elder noble — his son — and his grand- 
son, who, afterwards, was king of the kingdom of Scotland, by 
right and inheritance). This dispute was, in time, settled in 
the following way. 


Discussion of the rights of Bdbert of Bruce and of John of Balliol. 

The nobles of the before-mentioned kingdom, with its afore- 
named guardians, oftentimes discussed among themselves the 
question as to who should be made their king ; but they did not 
make bold to utter what they felt about the right of succession, 
partly because it was a hard and knotty matter ; partly because 
different people felt differently about those rights, and wavered 
a good deal ; partly because they justly feared the power of the 


parties, which was great, and greatly to be feared ; and partly 
because they had no superior who could, by his unbending 
power, carry their award into execution, or make the parties 
abide by their decision. When they had earnestly thought 
over this, they, at length, with one consent, decided among 
themselves to send special messengers to Edward, king of 
England, that he might become supreme judge in this matter, 
and declare the right of each ; and, by his might, duly coerce, 
according to the requirements of the law, that party against 
whom he might pronounce his award. Therefore they sent the 
lord bishop of Saint Andrews, W. Eraser, in conjunction with 
some others, to fetch him, while he was looking after his own 
business in distant parts. Edward came, on being asked, and 
fixed a day for all the nobles of the kingdom of Scotland, of what- 
ever standing or condition they might be, to meet together before 
him at Berwick ; and he commanded that the parties between 
whom the controversy was, as well as all the others who 
claimed a right to the said kingdom, should be called : provided, 
however, that such summons or compearing should beget no 
prejudice to the kingdom of Scotland, and also that no right or 
superiority of dominion should thereby accrue to Edward ; as 
he was called thereto, not as lord paramount, or judge by right, 
but as a friendly umpire, and the strongest neighbour, to settle 
a quarrel, equally by his wisdom and his might, after the manner 
of a friendly peacemaker, and for the sake of reciprocity. Against 
this they guarded in set terms, by letters-patent from him, be- 
fore the day and opening of the lawsuit. 


All the freeholders of the kingdom of Scotland, therefore, 
who should, or could, be there, met together before him at Ber- 
wick, and swore an oath that they would steadfastly abide by 
his award, to be issued as a judgment, so far as it declared 
the right of succession to the throne ; and all the bishops and 
others of the clergy, as well as the aforesaid wardens, earls, and 
barons, and the other estates, both of burgesses and free- 
holders, bound themselves by an authentic instrument, sup- 
ported by the seals of all the above-mentioned, that they would, 
all and sundry, obey, as rightful and actual king, and over- 
lord, that one of the two competitors that Edward declared 
should reign. When, therefore, this had been arranged, this 
oft-mentioned king chose men distinguished by their know- 
ledge and years, for their character and trustiness, and the most 
discreet in each station or degree, to the number of eighty, 

308 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

according to some — but, according to others, forty — and accord- 
ing to the opinion of certain men, four-and-twenty, twelve of 
whom were from England and twelve from Scotland. These, 
when they had taken a solemn oath to speak the truth, he com- 
missioned to bar all the rest who claimed a right to the throne 
— for they were very many ; and, by what they owed to the 
oath they had sworn, and at the peril of their souls, to search 
faithfully and determine between the aforesaid — namely, John 
and Eobert ; and, having determined between them, to make 
known unto him which of them had the better and clearer 
right to the throne of Scotland, so as to succeed the foresaid 
King Alexander, by right of near kinship, according to the 
approved custom of the kingdom. The assize, having been 
arranged as stated above, was removed to a spot away from the 
haunts of the people, and closely guarded ; and the king alone 
was wont to go in, when and as often as he would, unaccom- 
panied, to those of the assize, and would oftentimes ask how 
the thing would go. At length, from their hints, he gathered 
that, according to law and approved custom, the right of Eobert 
the Bruce was the stronger. 


Thereupon he strengthened the guard of the assize, and with- 
drew ; and having privily called his own people, he announced 
to them the determination of the assize, and, with their counsel, 
debated as to what was to be done in the above matter. But 
Anthony Bek, bishop of Durham, put this question to him : — 
"If Robert of Bruce were king of Scotland, where would 
Edward, king of England, be ? For this Robert is of the noblest 
stock of all England, and, with him, the kingdom of Scotland 
is very strong in itself; and, in times gone by, a great deal of 
mischief has been wrought to the kings of England by those of 
Scotland." At this, the king, patting him on the head — as it were 
— answered in the French tongue, saying : — " Par le sank Dieu, 
vous aves bun chante ;" which is to say, " By Christ's blood ! 
thou hast sung well. Things shall go otherwise than I had 
arranged at first." In like manner, all of his council, now 
stealthily, now openly, suggested unto him that he should never 
give judgment without receiving their subjection — for that a fit 
time was at hand, when he could fulfil the desire he had so long 
brooded over. When this had been thus well weighed, he sent 
for the elder Robert of Bruce, and asked him whether he would 
hold the aforesaid kingdom of him in chief, so that he — Edward 
— might make and appoint him king thereof. Robert answered 


straightforwardly, and said : — " If I can get the aforesaid king- 
dom by means of my right and a faithful assize, well and good ; 
but if not, I shall never, in gaining that kingdom for myself, 
reduce it to thraldom — a kingdom which all the kings thereof 
have hitherto, with great toil and trouble, kept free from thral- 
dom, in security of peace." When he heard this, and Eobert 
had moved away, Edward called John of Balliol, and plied him 
in like manner with the same question as before ; but Balliol, 
after having quickly deliberated with his council, which had 
been quite bought over, fell in with the aforesaid king's wishes, 
that he should hold the kingdom of Scotland of him, and do 
him homage for the same. Thereupon, the parties were, soon 
after, called up ; and, in presence of the nobles of Scotland and 
England, Edward pronounced John Balliol to be the lawful heir 
in the succession to the throne, and by his award decided that 
he had the stronger right. After the judgment was given, how- 
ever, the Earl of Gloucester, holding Eobert of Bruce by the 
hand, in the sight of all, spoke thus unto the king : — " EecoUect, 
O king, what kind of judgment thou hast given to-day ; and 
know that thou must be judged at the last." And straightway, 
at that earl's bidding, the aforesaid Eobert Bruce withdrew ; 
nor did he ever tender homage or fealty to John of Balliol. 


Account, or Pedigree, of the Kings of Scotland. 

That the right of John of Balliol and Eobert of Bruce, how- 
ever, might be brought out more clearly, there is here brought 
in, abridged, the line of descent of the kings of Scotland, 
coming down from King Malcolm and his spouse. Saint Mar- 
garet, to the death of Margaret, daughter of the king of Norway 
and Margaret, queen of that kingdom — the daughter, to wit, of 
King Alexander ill., at whose death all issue descending either 
lineally or collaterally from King William, was utterly extinct 
and wiped out. When this has been seen, the right of the 
aforesaid, who long wrangled for the throne of Scotland, will be 
more easily and clearly evident. 


In the year 1067, Malcolm, king of Scotland, took to 
wife Margaret, of whom he begat six renowned sons, — namely, 
Edward, Edmund, Ethelred, Edgar, Alexander, and David ; and 
two daughters — Matilda, and Mary. Of these six sons, three 


reigned successively — namely, Edgar, Alexander, and David. 
But all the sons, except David, died childless ; and he begat 
only one son, named Henry, Earl of Huntingdon. This Henry 
begat three sons — Malcolm, William, and David — and died 
before his father. Upon King David's death, his grandson 
Malcolm, then twelve years old, reigned eight years, and died. 
He was succeeded by his brother William, who reigned fifty- 
two years, and died, and was buried in the monastery of Abir- 
brothoc (Arbroath), which he had himself founded. This King 
William begat Alexander ii., who succeeded him, and reigned 
thirty-six years. He died at Curlay (Kerrera), and was buried 
at Melrose. This Alexander begat Alexander iii., who suc- 
ceeded his father, and reigned thirty-six years. He died at 
Kinghorn, in the thirty-seventh year of his reign, and was 
buried at Dunfermline. This Alexander ill. begat, of Margaret, 
queen of Scotland, and sister of King Edward I. of England (she 
lies entombed at Dunfermline), two sons — Alexander, and 
David ; but they both died childless before their father. He 
also begat, of that same queen, one only daughter, named 
Margaret. This daughter was betrothed to Eric, king of 
Norway, who had, by her, one only daughter, named Margaret, 
who died in girlhood ; — and thus ended the whole offspring of 
King William of Scotland, and his successors, and was utterly 
extinguished and ended. Therefore it is fitting and needful 
to go back to David, the aforesaid King William's younger 


Kitig WilliarrCs brother David, Earl of Huntingdon, 

During the reign of King Malcolm and King William, their 
younger brother David became Earl of Huntingdon, through the 
Countess thereof, whom he had taken to wife, and of whom he 
begat three daughters. The first was called Margaret, and 
wedded Alan of Galloway. Of her, Alan begat two daughters, 
the first of whom, named Darvorgilla, wedded John of Balliol, 
who begat, of her, one son, named John, afterwards king of 
Scotland; and this John begat Edward of Balliol. In this 
Edward, the male line of Balliol came to an end ; for he had 
neither son nor daughter by Darvorgilla. The aforesaid John 
of Balliol, moreover, begat one daughter, named Marjory — 
the sister, to wit, of the aforesaid King John. This Marjory 
wedded John Comyn, who, of her, begat one son, named John, 
whom Robert of Bruce, afterwards king, killed at Dumfries. This 




John Comyn begat one only daughter, who wedded David, Earl 
of Athol. Of her, this David begat many sons, the first and 
eldest of whom, named David, took to wife the daughter of 
Henry of Beaumont. This lady was begotten by the said 
Henry of the first-born daughter, and one of the heirs, of John 
Earl of Buchan ; and, of her, that David begat one son, named 
David. The sister of that Darvorgilla, daughter of the aforesaid 
Alan of Galloway and Margaret, his bride, was wedded to Eoger 
de Quincy. Of her, this Eoger begat three daughters, who were 
united to three nobles — namely, John of Ferrers ; Alexander, 
Earl of Buchan (whose first-born daughter the aforesaid Henry 
of Beaumont took to wife) ; and Lord de la Zouche. From them 
sprang a countless offspring ; but it would be no less difi&cult 
than long to run over their descent. 


Earl David! s daughter Isabella, who wedded Robert of Bruce. 

The second daughter of the aforesaid Earl David, brother of 
the above-named King William, was named Isabella, and was 
taken to wife by the lord Eobert of Bruce. This Eobert begat 
one son, named Eobert ; who begat Eobert, Earl of Carrick ; 
who begat Eobert, king of Scotland, and many other sons and 
their uterine brothers ; but all these — except Eobert, afterwards 
king — died without lawful issue. He had, also, many daughters, 
one of whom — the eldest — wedded Gartnay, Earl of Mar. This 
Earl Gartnay begat Donald (called Bane), Earl of Mar, who died 
at the battle of Duplin, shortly after having been appointed 
warden of Scotland. This Donald Bane begat Thomas, Earl of 
Mar, who was betrothed to the heiress of Menteith ; but after- 
wards, egged on by* the devil, he, by trumping up colourable 
pretexts, and untrue pleas, got a divorce, without there being 
any offspring between them. Another daughter wedded Hugh, 
Earl of Eoss, who, of her, begat Earl William. 


Issue of King Robert Bruce by his first wife, 

Now King Eobert, when he was Earl of Carrick, took to wife 
Isabella, sister of the aforesaid Gartnay, Earl of Mar ; and, of 
her, he begat an only daughter, named Marjory, who wedded 
Walter, Steward of Scotland, and of whom this Walter begat an 
only son, named Eobert Stewart, afterwards king. This Eobert 


took to his bed one of the daughters of Adam More, knight ; 
and of her he begat sons and daughters, out of wedlock. But 
he afterwards — in the year 1349, to wit — bespoke and got the 
dispensation of the Apostolic See, and espoused her regularly, 
according to the forms of the Church. 


That King's Issue hy Ms second Wife. 

Upon the death of the aforesaid Isabella, Eobert, while still 
earl, took to wife Elizabeth, daughter of Haymer de Burc, Earl 
of Ulster. Of her, this Eobert, then king, begat two daughters 
— Matilda and Margaret. The said Margaret wedded the Earl 
of Sutherland, who, of her, begat an only son, named John. 
This John was, with his father, a hostage in England for the 
release of David ii., king of Scotland. But his mother departed 
this life just after she had given him birth. I will say nothing 
at all about her sister, Matilda; for she did nothing worth 
remembering. The aforesaid King Eobert likewise begat, in the 
seventeenth year of his reign, an only son, named David, who 
succeeded him on the throne. 


Death of John of Balliol. 

Ye must know, likewise, that John of Balliol, the husband of 
the aforesaid Darvorgilla, died before the death of the aforesaid 
King Alexander iii. ; while she, however, outlived him. As for 
Earl David's third daughter, named Ada, who wedded Henry of 
Hastings, let those whom it concerns, or who wish to know, trace 
and follow up her issue. Now, after having seen this, let skilled 
men seek and trace which of the suitors had the stronger right ; 
for this is a true history, and a correct account of the degrees of 
kinship, and of the descent, of all the aforesaid. 


Daughters of King Malcolm and Saint Margaret ; and degree of 
kinship between David and Edward, tJie kings of Scotland 
and of England. 

Of the above-mentioned Saint Margaret, also, the aforesaid 
Malcolm begat two daughters — Matilda, and Mary. Matilda 
wedded Henry the Clerk, son of William the Bastard, conqueror 


of England. Of her, this Henry begat "the empress Matilda, 
who wedded the emperor Henry, and lived twenty years with 
him. The emperor died without issue ; and, after his death, 
the empress returned to her still surviving kinsfolk. She 
afterwards, by their advice, wedded the Count of Anjou and 
Poitou — Geoffroy, by name — who begat, of her, one son, 
named Henry. This Henry afterwards succeeded to the king- 
dom of England and the dukedom of Normandy through his 
mother, and to the dukedom of Anjou and Poitou through his 
father ; and under him suffered Saint Thomas, Archbishop of 
Canterbury. He had four sons : namely, Henry, his first-born, 
who was crowned king in his father's lifetime, and died before 
his father, childless; the second, named Eichard, who suc- 
ceeded his father on the throne ; the third, named Geoffroy, 
Earl of Brittany ; and the fourth son, named John, who suc- 
ceeded his brother, the said Eichard, on the throne. This John 
begat Henry the peaceful ; Henry begat Edward the tyrant ; 
Edward be^jat Edward ii.; Edward ii. begat Edward iii.; Edward 
III. begat Edward, Prince of Wales, who predeceased his father ; 
Prince Edward begat Eichard, who now is. Now, having shortly 
run through all this, we must go back to the Annals. 


Guardians of the kingdom chosen, after the death of King 
Alexander III. 

When the body of Alexander iii., of renowned memory, the 
aforesaid illustrious king of Scotland, had been handed over for 
burial by the Church, in the year 1286, six guardians — of 
whom enough was said a little further back — were chosen 
by the clergy and estates of the whole kingdom of Scotland, 
in a parliament held at Scone on the 2d day of April, And the 
kingdom was six years and nine months without the governance 
of a king, according to the words of the prophecy, " While twice 
three years," etc. 


Slaughter of Duncan, Earl of Fife. 

On the 7th of April 1288, Duncan, Earl of Fife, son of Colban, 
son of Malcolm, was slain at Petpolloch (Pittelloch), by Patrick 
of Abernethy and Walter of Percy, knights, with the advice 
and consent of William of Abernethy, knight, who, as had been 


forecasted between them, secretly lay in wait, with many men, 
on another road, for the passing of the said earl ; so that the 
latter could nowise escape them alive. When they had per- 
petrated this wickedness, Andrew of Moray followed after them, 
seeking them, in their wretched flight with their men, through 
sundry places, this side of the Scottish sea, and beyond it. Two 
of them — namely, Walter, and William — he manfully caught 
in a village which is called Colbanston, in Clydesdale; and he 
there straightway punished Walter and two squires with sen- 
tence of death, and committed William to prison for life, at 
Douglas Castle, in the keeping of the lord William of Douglas. 
Patrick, however, fled to France, and there ended his days. 


Marriage to he contracted between the son of the King of Ungland, 
and Margaret, daughter of the King of Norway, 

In the year 1290, six ambassadors-extraordinary — namely, 
two bishops, those of Durham and Carlisle ; two earls, those of 
Lincoln and Warenne ; one knight, named William de Vesci ; 
and Henry dean of York — and special commissioners of Edward 
I., king of England, were sent to treat with the guardians, nobles, 
and estates of the kingdom of Scotland, about contracting a mar- 
riage between Edward, his son and heir, and Margaret, the 
daughter of the king of Norway, then the true heiress of Scot- 
land: as is more fully shown in a letter drawn up by these 
ambassadors, and handed to the said guardians. Of this letter, 
moreover, we have spoken above. The same year, the Jews 
were cast out of England. 


Dispute which arose between Robert Bruce and John of BallioL 

In the year 1291 died Margaret, daughter of Eric, king of 
Norway. She was the lawful heiress of Scotland. That same year, 
the lawsuit was begun, and the dispute, or controversy, arose 
between two men — John of Balliol, and Robert of Bruce — about 
the right to reign and succeed to the throne of Scotland. At 
length, however, at the instance of the magnates of Scotland, 
Edward i., king of England, on being asked, came to Berwick ; 
and sentence was there given, by that king, in favour of John of 
Balliol, in the manner and form above stated. 



John of Balliol created King of Scotland, 

On the last day of N'ovember 1292, this John of Balliol was 
made king at Scone ; and having been there set on the royal 
throne, as is the custom, he was promoted in due manner. That 
same year, on the 26th day of December, though against the 
will of the first men of the kingdom, of all but a few, this John 
did homage to Edward I., king of England, for the kingdom of 
Scotland, as he had before promised in his ear, submitting to 
thraldom unto him for ever. 


Stepfi which led to the Deprivation of the same. 

I MUST mention that, at the time of this John, king of Scot- 
land, some who sought to deprive Macduff — brother of Duncan, 
the lately murdered Earl of Fife — of his lands and property 
of Kilconquhar, dragged him to court before the above-named 
King John, in full parliament. But because the king, as it 
seemed to the aforesaid Macduff, showed too much favour to 
the other side, he appealed from his sentence and court to the 
king of England to hear him ; and, following up his appeal as 
actively as he could, he managed to get the aforesaid John, 
king of Scotland, summoned to the English king's parliament, 
held in London. John accordingly appeared in person ; and, 
in spite of the English king and his party, he determined, after 
talking the thing over with his council, that he would answer 
by proxy. When, therefore, the king was called, and appeared 
in court by proxy, the king of England, sitting upon the 
judgment-seat, would nowise listen to the aforesaid king's 
proxy, until the king of Scotland, who was then sitting beside 
the king of England, should rise from his place, and, standing 
in court before him, impart his answers to his proxy with his 
own lips. John fulfilled these commands ; and, having under- 
gone from all numberless insults and slights, against his 
kingly rank and dignity, he at length imparted his answers 
to his proxy. And thus, after taking leave, he returned home 
very greatly crestfallen. So he straightway appointed a parlia- 
ment, and called together the chiefs of the kingdom — both of 
the clergy and of the people ; and, having openly set forth the 
insults, slights, contempt, and shame, which he had endured 


he strove, by all means in his small measure of power, to find 
some offset against the aforesaid king's wickedness. At length, 
it was there determined that King John should utterly recall the 
homage and fealty he had tendered to the king of England, 
as wrung from him by force and fear ; and that he could no 
longer obey his commands at all, to the injury of his kingdom's 
freedom. So he despatched to the aforesaid king of England, 
by Henry, abbot of Abirbrothoc (Arbroath), letters-patent to 
this effect, stamped with his seal, claiming back and recalling 
his homage and fealty. When these letters were presented, the 
king answered, in the French tongue : " A ce foil, felim tel foli 
fet ;" and he straightway added : " Sul ne voit venir a nous, 
nous vendrum aly." When this answer had been given, the 
aforesaid abbot — who had been sent thither out of spite, foras- 
much as, owing to his knavery, he was hateful to many of the 
lords and others of his country — was unable to get from the 
king of England any longer letters of safe-conduct ; so, owing 
to the shortness of the time which was left before his safe- 
conduct ran out, he barely escaped alive. 


The King of England has the King of Scotland cited to 
the Marches, etc. 

The often-mentioned king of England more than once sent 
for the king of Scotland to compear at the marches and borders 
of the kingdom, and had him summoned before him to stand his 
trial for his disobedience and rebellion. But he would not deign to 
come when peremptorily summoned ; so, because of his manifold 
contumacy, as well as because of his misconduct in breaking 
through his oath of fealty and homage, Edward passed against 
him a sentence of deprivation and deposition from the kingdom, 
as also from all other lands and possessions which John held 
of him ; so that him wliom he had, in spite of the law, pro- 
moted to the kingship, he, by the law, deprived, both by a 
sentence and in deed, of all the honours bestowed upon him. 


The King of England beguiles the first Robert of Bimce with 
smqoth words. 

Meanwhile the king of England made ready for coming to 
blows ; and, calling the lord Kobert of Bruce, the grandfather. 


he acknowledged that he had given an unrighteous sentence. 
So he recalled the same, and promised and pledged himself 
faithfully to the aforesaid Eobert to promote him to the throne, 
as having the better and stronger right ; while the other should 
be utterly set aside and deprived for ever. By this promise, so 
full of smooth words and all manner of falsehood, he led him 
on to write a letter himself to all his friends dwelling in Scot- 
land, and advise them to surrender and deliver up to him all 
castles and fortified strongholds : for that the whole aim of the 
king of England was directed to this — that he might consti- 
tute and appoint him king. Accordingly, Eobert wrote what 
the other suggested. When, however, Edward got what he 
wished, he nowise kept his pledges. 


The Nohles of Fife sent to guard the town of Berivick — 
Their Death. 

While this was going on, John, king of Scotland, by the 
advice of the magnates who cleaved to him, marshalled and 
sent off all the nobles and freeholders, as well as the rest of the 
good men, of the county of Fife (which was then without a 
head, and bereft of its lawful pilot), despatching them to guard 
and defend the town of Berwick, where the greatest danger 
was then threatening. There the king of England brought up 
with a strong fleet collected from the Cinque Ports, and laden 
with a great throng of men ; and when these made a great 
onslaught on the side facing the sea, the garrison of the town, 
who were active under arms, stout in body, and fierce in spirit, 
drove them back by force, and burnt with fire eighteen ships 
laden with armed men, all of whom they slew. In what year, 
month, or day, these things above related happened, the writer 
of this chronicle did not know for certain. This, however, may 
be taken as beyond a doubt, — that all the aforesaid events took 
place, in the order in which they are set down, in the years 
1293, 1294, and 1295. 

Talcing of the town of Bervnck hy Edvjard /., King of England. 

On the 30th of March 1296, the king of England, being 
strongly stirred up by the causes stated above, marched in 
person, with a large force, upon the town of Berwick ; and 

318 . JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

as lie could not take it by force, he thought to outwit the 
garrison by sleight and cunning. So he pretended he was 
going to withdraw; and, striking his tents, he made a feint 
of going far away. But on the 30th of March, bearing aloft 
the craftily counterfeited banners and war-ensigns of the 
Scottish army, he neared the gates of the town. When the 
garrison of the town saw this, they became right glad and 
merry, because they had got news that their king would soon 
be there to rescue and help them ; and being thus unhappily 
deceived through that promise, they trustfully opened their 
gates, like true men that knew no guile. But as soon as the 
trick was found out, and they became aware of the truth, they 
strove to withstand the foe. Being, however, hemmed in by 
the enemy, and assaulted on every side, they were wretchedly 
borne down by a sudden charge. On this wise, therefore, was 
the town taken, and all were swept down ; and, sparing neither 
sex nor age, the aforesaid king of England, in his tyrannous 
rage, bade them put to the sword 7500 souls of both sexes ; so 
that, for two days, streams flowed from the bodies of the slain. 
There were the nobles of Fife utterly destroyed. 


Expulsion of the English from the Kingdom of Scotland. 

The same year, on the 20th of April, owing to most unmis- 
takeable grounds for mistrust, and strong proofs of villanous 
plotting against the king and state, all the beneficed English 
in the bishopric of Saint Andrews were formally deprived ot 
their benefices by William of Kinghorn and Patrick of Cam- 
pania, surrogates of William Eraser, bishop of Saint Andrews, 
who was abroad. In like manner, every single other English- 
man, both clerk and layman, was cast out of the kingdom of 
Scotland for plotting. 


Battle of Dunbar. 

On the 27th of April, in the same year, was fought the battle 
of Dunbar, where Patrick of Graliam and many nobles fell 
wounded ; while a great many other knights and barons, in the 
hope of saving their lives, fled to Dunbar Castle, and were there 
readily welcomed. But they were all — to the number of seventy 
knights, besides famous squires, together with William, Earl of 


Eoss — made over, like sheep offered to the slaughter, by Eichard 
Seward, warden of the said castle, to the king of England. 


Abettors of John of Balliol and Bdbert Bruce. 

It should be noted, moreover, that from the first mooting of 
the matter of the feud between those noble men — Bruce, and 
Balliol — about the right of succeeding to the kingdom of Scot- 
land, that kingdom was rent in twain. Tor all the Comyns and 
their whole abettors stood by Balliol ; while the Earls of Mar 
and Athol, with the whole strength of their power, cleaved, in 
the firm league of kinship, to the side of Eobert of Bruce, who 
was steadfastly tended in the indissoluble bond of love by 
Eobert, bishop of Glasgow. It was for this reason — according 
to the general opinion — that the aforesaid earls with their 
troops, through good-will and love for Bruce, fled scathless 
from the field, on the day the aforesaid battle was fought ; and 
thus the adverse party was exposed to utter ruin, and the foe of 
both gained so gladsome and welcome a victory. And, even as 
afterwards, while King Eobert of Bruce was making war, all 
Balliol's foll(3wers were looked upon with mistrust in that king's 
wars, so also, in this Balliol's war, the aforesaid bishop and 
earls, with all the abettors of Bruce's party, were generally 
considered traitors to their king and country. But, alas ! 
through this quarrel, the harmless rabble, exposed to the raven- 
ous biting of these wolves, lay mangled far and wide over the 


Answer given hy the King of England to the first Bdbert Bruce. 

So, after the victory gained over the Scots at Dunbar, the 
elder Eobert of Bruce came up to the king of England, and be- 
sought him to faithfully fulfil what he had long ago promised 
him, as to his getting the kingdom. But that old framer of 
wiles, in no little indignation, answered thus, in the French 
tongue : " Ne avonis ren autres chose a fer, que avous reamys 
ganere ?" that is to say : " Have We nothing else to do but to 
win kingdoms for thee ?" So that noble man, perceiving, from 
such an answer, the crafty king's falsehood, withdrew to his 
lands in England, and was no more seen in Scotland. 



John of Balliol and Ms son Edward tahen. 

The aforesaid king then marched on, and the castles of Dun- 
bar, Edinburgh, and Strivelyn (Stirling), were given up to him; 
and he followed after the aforesaid John, king of Scotland, as far 
as the castle of Forfar. He was there met by John of Comyn, lord 
of Strabolgi, who made his submission unto him. According to 
the account given by some, this Comyn immediately afterwards 
brought back the aforesaid King John and his son Edward, from 
Aberdeen to the castle of Montrose; and,upon the king of England 
coming to the aforesaid castle of Montrose, King John, stripped 
of his kingly ornaments, and holding a white wand in his hand, 
surrendered up, with staff and baton, and resigned into the 
hands of the king of England, all right which he himself had, 
or might have, to the kingdom of Scotland. After a few days' 
time, the king of England had him and his son Edward taken 
down to London by sea ; and there he had them both kept, a 
good while, closely guarded. But, in course of time, while the 
son was kept back, the father was set free — having, however, 
first sworn a most solemn oath that he would never claim the 
right of reigning in the aforesaid kingdom of Scotland. So, 
being thus reinstated in his lands of Balliol (Ballieule) in 
France, he there ended his days. Afterwards, moreover, his son 
Edward, when he had duly sworn the above oath, was given 
back to him ; and, after his father's death, Edward abode there 
until he set about his own war, which was set on foot and begun 
at the battle of Duplin. Thus ended the reign of King John 
of Balliol, who reigned three years and a half. 


The Estates of Scotland do homage to the King of 

That same year, after the seizure of the king of Scotland, the 
Estates of Scotland did homage and swore fealty to the king 
of England, surrendering unto him their castles and fortified 
towns. He, however, made no change at all — except in a few 
cases — in any of the wardens of castles, the bailies of towns, 
and the king's ministers, who had been wont to minister unto 
the kings of Scotland, either by ancient custom, or by heredi- 
tary right ; but, having taken from them an oath of fealty, he 


allowed them all, except the wardens of the castles of the 
chief boroughs, to stay in the same position and offices they 
had formerly served in. And thus he hastened home. 


The Magnates of Scotland meet together to guard the Kingdom. 

The same year, not long after the king of England had with- 
drawn, the magnates of Scotland summoned a parliament of 
their own, at Scone ; and twelve peers or guardians w^ere there 
appointed to guard and defend the freedom of the kingdom, 
and of the Estates thereof. And, in order that this appoint- 
ment might be the more strongly secured, they swore one to 
another to afford each other countenance, advice, and help, in 
all time to come. After this, they built castles, repaired those 
which were in ruins, set trusty garrisons in the strongest posi- 
tions, and made ready to withstand bravely the lawless usurpa- 
tion of that most wicked king of England. That same year, in 
order to humble and lessen that king's fell power, John Comyn, 
Earl of Buchan, with a great army, ravaged the northern parts 
of England with fire and sword, and laid siege to the town of 
Carlisle; but he withdrew thence without having compassed 
his end. 


Bise and First Start of William Wallace. 

The same year, William "Wallace lifted up his head from his 
den — as it were — and slew the English sheriff of Lanark, a 
doughty and powerful man, in the town of Lanark. From that 
time, therefore, there flocked to him all who were in bitterness 
of spirit, and weighed down beneath the burden of bondage 
under the unbearable domination of English despotism ; and 
he became their leader. He was wondrously brave and bold 
of goodly mien, and boundless liberality ; and, though, among 
the earls and lords of the kingdom, he was looked upon as low- 
born, yet his fathers rejoiced in the honour of knighthood. 
His elder brother, also, was girded with the knightly belt, and 
inherited a landed estate which was large enough for his station, 
and which he bequeathed, as a holding, to his descendants. So 
Wallace overthrew the English on all sides ; and gaining 
strength daily, he, in a short time, by force, and by dint of his 



prowess, brought all the magnates of Scotland under his sway, 
whether they would or not. Such of the magnates, moreover, 
as did not thankfully obey his commands, he took and brow- 
beat, and handed over to custody, until they should utterly 
submit to his good pleasure. And when all had thus been sub- 
dued, he manfully betook himself to the storming of the castles 
and fortified towns in which the English ruled ; for he aimed 
at quickly and thoroughly freeing his country and overthrowing 
the enemy. 


Battle of Stirling Bridge. 

In the year 1297, the fame of William Wallace was spread 
all abroad, and, at length, reached the ears of the king of Eng- 
land ; for the loss brought upon his people was crying out. 
As the king, however, was intent upon many troublesome 
matters elsewhere, he sent his treasurer, named Hugh of Clis- 
singham, with a large force to repress this William's bold- 
ness, and to bring the kingdom of Scotland under his sway. 
When, therefore, he heard of this man's arrival, the aforesaid 
William, then busy besieging the English who were in Dundee 
Castle, straightway intrusted the care and charge of the siege 
of the castle to the burgesses of that town, on pain of loss of 
life and limb, and, with his army, marched on, with all haste, 
towards Strivelyn (Stirling), to meet this Hugh. A battle was 
then fought, on the 11th of September, near Strivelyn (Stir- 
ling), at the bridge over the Forth. Hugh of Clissingham was 
killed, and all his army put to flight : some of them were slain 
with the sword, others taken, others drowned in the waters. 
But, through God, they were all overcome ; and the aforesaid 
William gained a happy victory, with no little praise. Of the 
nobles, on his side, the noble Andrew of Moray alone, the father 
of Andrew, fell wounded. 


William Wallace winters in England, 

The same year, William Wallace, with his army, wintered 
in England, from Hallowmas to Christmas ; and after having 
burnt up the whole land of Allerdale, and carried off some 
plunder, he and his meji went back safe and sound. The 


same year, moreover, on the 20th of August, all the English 
— regular and beneficed clergy, as well as laymen — were, by 
this same William, again cast out from the kingdom of Scot- 
land. And, the same year, William of Lamberton was chosen 
bishop of Saint Andrews. 


Battle of Falkirh. 

In the year 1298, the aforesaid king of England, taking it ill 
that he and his should be put to so much loss and driven to 
such straits by William Wallace, gathered together a large 
army, and, having with him, in his company, some of the nobles 
of Scotland to help him, invaded Scotland. He was met by 
the aforesaid William, with the rest of the magnates of that 
kingdom ; and a desperate battle was fought near Falkirk, on 
the 2 2d of July. William was put to flight, not without 
serious loss both to the lords and to the common people of the 
Scottish nation. For, on account of the ill-will, begotten of 
the spring of envy, which the Comyns had conceived towards 
the said William, they, with their accomplices, forsook the 
field, and escaped unhurt. On learning their spiteful deed, 
the aforesaid William, wishing to save himself and his, hastened 
to flee by another road. But alas ! through the pride and burning 
envy of both, the noble Estates (communitas) of Scotland lay 
wretchedly overthrown throughout hill and dale, mountain and 
plain. Among these, of the nobles, John Stewart, with his 
Brendans ; Macduff, of Fife ; and the inhabitants thereof, were 
utterly cut off. But it is commonly said that Eobert of Bruce, 
— who was afterwards king of Scotland, but then fought on the 
side of the king of England — was the means of bringing about 
this victory. For, while the Scots stood invincible in their 
ranks, and could not be broken by either force or stratagem, 
this Eobert of Bruce went with one line, under Anthony of Bek, 
by a long road round a hill, and attacked the Scots in the 
rear ; and thus these, who had stood invincible and impene- 
trable in front, were craftily overcome in the rear. And it is 
remarkable that we seldom, if ever, read of the Scots being 
overcome by the English, unless through the envy of lords, or 
the treachery and deceit of the natives, taking them over to 
the other side. 



William Wallace resigns tlie office of Guardian. 

But after the aforesaid victory, which was vouchsafed to 
the enemy through the treachery of Scots, the aforesaid Wil- 
liam Wallace, perceiving, by these and other strong proofs, the 
glaring wickedness of the Corny ns and their abettors, chose rather 
to serve with the crowd, than to be set over them, to their ruin, 
and the grievous wasting of the people. So, not long after the 
battle of Falkirk, at the water of Forth, he, of his own accord, 
resigned the office and charge which he held, of guardian. 


John Comyn becomes Guardian of Scotland. 

The same year, John Comyn, the son, became guardian 
of Scotland ; and remained in that office until the time when 
he submitted to the king of England — to wit, the next year 
after the struggle at Eoslyn. But, within that same time, 
John of Soulis was associated with him, by John of Balliol, 
who had then been set free from prison, and was dwelling on 
his lands of BaUiol. Soulis did not long keep his charge and 
governance ; but as he was simple-minded, and not firm enough, 
bearing many a rebuff, he was looked down upon ; so he left 
Scotland, and withdrew to France, where he died. 


Truce granted, at the instance of the King of France, to the 
Estates of the Kingdom of Scotland, 

In the year 1300, Philip, king of France, sent a cleric, named 
Pierre de Muncy, and one knight, Jean de Barres, to Edward, 
king of England, to obtain a truce between Edward liimself 
and the Estates of Scotland. At his instance, the king of 
England granted a truce to the kingdom of Scotland, from 
Hallowmas, in the above-mentioned year, to the next follow- 
ing Whitsunday. And it was at the instance of the king of 
France, not as in any way the ally of the kingdom of Scotland, 
but as his cousin and particular friend, and the friendly peace- 
maker between the two sides, that he granted this truce. This, 


moreover, he forced the aforesaid ambassadors to own before he 
granted the truce. 


John of Soulis. 

The same year, John of Soulis, one of the guardians of Scot- 
land, without mentioning the other guardian, with the advice 
of the prelates, earls, barons, and other nobles of the Estates 
of the kingdom of Scotland, despatched the lord William, arch- 
deacon of Lothian, Master Baldred Bisset, and William of 
Eglisham, as commissioners and special envoys to Boniface viii., 
then sovereign Pontiff, to break and lay bare unto him the 
sundry and manifold hardships brought upon the kingdom of 
Scotland by the enmity of the said king of England ; and to 
get meet relief against his harassing outrages — as is more fully 
contained in the commission of those ambassadors, a copy 
w^hereof, together with that Baldred's pleading against the king 
of England, and many letters bearing on that lawsuit, is in a 
pamphlet written by Alan of Montrose. 


ITie King of England summoned to the Court of Eome. 

Now the king of England, having been summoned by the 
Pope, in the year 1301, sent two proofs patent to that same 
sovereign Pontiff, in order to give him a clear insight into the 
right which he averred was vested in him, from days of old, to the 
throne of Scotland. But Baldred, in a lucid discourse, shortly 
answered all his arguments, plainly showing, by strong proofs 
and very clear evidence, that they were utterly devoid of truth 
— as may be seen in his pleading. The same year, a castle, 
viz., the Pel de Lithcu (Peel of Linlithgow), was built by the 
king of England. 


Conflict of Roslyn. 

On the 27th of July 1302, took place the great and famous 
engagement between the Scots and English, at Eoslyn, where 

326 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

the English were defeated, though with great difficulty. From 
the beginning of the first war which ever broke out between 
the Scots and English, it is said, there never was so desperate 
a struggle, or one in which the stoutness of knightly prowess 
shone forth so brightly. The commander and leader in this 
struggle was John Comyn, the son. Now this was how this 
struggle came about, and the manner thereof. After the battle 
fought at Falkirk, the king of England came not in person, for 
the nonce, this side of the water of Forth ; but sent a good large 
force, which plundered the whole land of Fife, with all the 
lands lying near the town of Perth, after having killed a great 
many of the dwellers in those lands. On the return of this 
force, with countless spoils, that king hied him home again 
with his host. Now this was brought about, doubtless, by 
God's agency : for had he made a lengthened stay then, or after 
the battle of Dunbar and the seizure of King John, he would 
either have subjugated the whole land of Scotland, and the 
dwellers therein, to his sway, or made it a waste with naught 
but floods and stones. But the goodness of God, Who alone 
tends and heals after wounds, so governed the actions and time 
of that king, that, being stirred up to battle, and engrossed with 
sundry wars, he could not put off all other matters, and give 
himself up to subduing this kingdom. So that king of Eng- 
land went back with his men, having first appointed the officers 
of the sheriffdoms, and the wardens of the castles, in the dis- 
tricts beyond the water of Forth, which were then fully and 
wholly subject unto his sway- — with the exception of a few 
outlaws (or, indeed, robbers), of Scottish birth, who were lurk- 
ing in the woods, and could not, because of their misdeeds, 
*• submit to the laws. But John Comyn, then guardian of Scot- 
land, and Simon Eraser, with their followers, day and night 
did their best to harass and annoy, by their great prowess, the 
aforesaid king's officers and bailiffs ; and from the time of that 
king's departure, for four years and more, the English and the 
Anglicized Scots were harried by them, in manifold ways, by 
mutual slaughter and carnage, according to the issue of various 


When the aforesaid king had got news of this, he sent off a 
certain nobleman, Ralph Confrere, his treasurer (Ralph de 
Manton, the Cofferer), a man stout in battle, and of tried 
judgment and wisdom, with a certain body of chosen knights, 
thoroughly well-armed, to seek out, in every hole and corner, 


those wlio troubled and disturbed the king's peace, and not 
to forbear punishing them with the penalty of death. So 
they entered Scotland, and went about ranging through the 
land, until they, at Eoslyn, pitched their tents, split up into 
three lines apart, for want of free camping room. But the 
aforesaid John Comyn and Simon, with their abettors, hearing 
of their arrival, and wishing to steal a march rather than 
have one stolen upon them, came briskly through from 
Biggar to Eoslyn, in one night, with some chosen men, who 
chose rather death before unworthy subjection to the English 
nation; and, all of a sudden, they fearlessly fell upon the 
enemy. But having been, a little before, roused by the 
sentries, all those of the first line seized their weapons, and 
manfully withstood the attacking foe. At length, however, the 
former were overcome. Some were taken, and some slain ; 
while some, again, fled to the other line. But, while the Scots 
were sharing the booty, another line straightway appeared, in 
battle-array ; so the Scots, on seeing it, slaughtered their 
prisoners, and armed their own vassals with the spoils of the 
slain ; then, putting away their jaded horses, and taking stronger 
ones, they fearlessly hastened to the fray. When this second 
line had been, at length, overcome, though with difficulty, and 
the Scots thought they had ended their task, there appeared a 
third, mightier than the former, and more choice in their har- 
ness. The Scots were thunderstruck at the sight of them ; and 
being both fagged out in manifold ways, — by the fatigues of 
travelling, watching, and want of food — and also sore distressed 
by the endless toil of fighting, began to be weary, and to quail 
in spirit, beyond belief. But, when the people were thus 
thrown into bewilderment, the aforesaid John and Simon, with , 
hearts undismayed, took up, with their weapons, the office of 
preachers ; and, comforting them with their words, cheering 
them with their promises, and, moreover, reminding them of 
the nobleness of freedom, and the baseness of thraldom, and of 
the unwearied toil which their ancestors had willingly under- 
taken for the deliverance of their country, they, with healthful 
warnings, heartened them to the fray. So, being greatly em- 
boldened by these and such-like words, the Scots laid aside all 
cowardice, and got back their strength. Then they slaughtered 
their prisoners, with whose horses and arms they were again — 
as it were — renewed ; and, putting their trust in God, they 
and their armed vassals marched forward most bravely and 
dashingly to battle. The shock was so mighty and fierce, that 
many were run through, and bereft of life ; and some of either 
host, after awful spear-thrusts, savage flail-strokes, and hard 


cudgelling, withdrew from the ranks, by hundreds, forties, 
and twenties, to the hills, time after time, fagged out and 
dazed by the day's fighting. There they would throw back 
their helmets, and let the winds blow upon them ; and after 
having been thus cooled by the breeze, they would put away 
their wounded horses, and, mounting other fresh ones, would 
thus be made stronger against the onslaughts of the foe. 
So, after this manifold ordeal and awful struggle, the Scots, 
who, if one looked at the opposite side, were very few in 
number — as it were a handful of corn or flour compared with 
the multitude of the sea-sand — by the power, not of man, but 
of God, subdued their foes, and gained a happy and gladsome 


The King of England scours the plains a7id hills, and brings 
the Kingdom of Scotland under peaceful subjection to him- 

In revenge for the foregoing outrages, the king of England, 
with a very large force, both by sea and by land, entered Scot- 
land, in the year 1303, with the deliberate design of once for all 
fully bringing it, and the dwellers therein, under his yoke ; or, 
of sweeping out the inhabitants altogether, and reducing the land 
itself to an utter and irreclaimable wilderness. Having, there- 
fore, scoured the hills and plains, both on this side of the hills 
and beyond them, he, in person, reached Lochindorb ; and, after 
making some stay there, he received the submission of the north- 
ern districts, and appointed officers of his in all the castles and 
fortified towns surrendered to him. Eeturning thence leisurely, 
he received the submission of all the communities, as well as for- 
tresses and castles they passed through, with none to withstand 
or attack him ; and, after much winding about through the land, 
he got to Dunfermline, where he lingered a long time, winter- 
ing there until Candlemas. The same year, his son and heir, 
Edward of Carnarvon, Prince of Wales, made a long stay in the 
town of Perth. Eood was in such plenty there, for the whole 
of the aforesaid time, that a laggen, Scottish measure, of good 
wine sold for fourpence. 



The Estates of Scotland make their submission to the 
King of England. 

The same year, after the whole Estates of Scotland had made 
their submission to the king of England, John Comyn, then 
guardian, and all the magnates but William Wallace, little by 
little, one after another, made their submission unto him ; and all 
their castles and towns — except Strivelyn (Stirling) Castle, and 
the warden thereof — were surrendered unto him. That year, the 
king kept Lent at Saint Andrews, where he called together all 
the great men of the kingdom, and held his parliament ; and he 
made such decrees as he would, according to the state of the 
country — which, as he thought, had been gotten and won for 
him and his successors for ever — as well as about the dwellers 


Stirling Castle besieged by the King of England. 

Just after Easter, in the year 1304, that same king besieged 
Strivelyn (Stirling) Castle for three months without a break. 
For this siege, he commanded all the lead of the refectory of 
Saint Andrews to be pulled down, and had it taken away for 
the use of his engines. At last, the aforesaid castle was sur- 
rendered and delivered unto him on certain conditions, drawn up 
in writing, and sealed with his seal. But when he had got the 
castle, the king belied his troth, and broke through the conditions: 
for William Oliphant, the warden thereof, he threw bound into 
prison in London, and kept him a long time in thrall. The 
same year, when both great and small in the kingdom of Scot- 
land (except William Wallace alone) had made their submis- 
sion unto him ; when the surrendered castles and fortified towns, 
which had formerly been broken down and knocked to pieces, 
had been all rebuilt, and he had appointed wardens of his own 
therein ; and after all and sundry of Scottish birth had tendered 
him homage, the king, with the Prince of Wales, and his whole 
army, returned to England. He left, however, the chief warden 
as his lieutenant, to amend and control the lawlessness of all 
the rest, both Scots and English. He did not show his face in 
Scotland after this. 




Rise of Bohert of Bruce, King of Scotland. 

After the withdrawal of the king of England, the English 
nation lorded it in all parts of the kingdom of Scotland, ruth- 
lessly harrying the Scots in sundry and manifold ways, by in- 
sults, stripes, and slaughter, under the awful yoke of slavery. 
But God, in His mercy, as is the wont of His fatherly good- 
ness, had compassion on the woes, the ceaseless crying and 
sorrow, of the Scots ; so He raised up a saviour and champion 
unto them — one of their own fellows, to wit, named Eobert of 
Bruce. This man, seeing them stretched in the slough of woe, 
and reft of all hope of salvation and help, was inwardly touched 
with sorrow of heart ; and, putting forth his hand unto force, 
underwent the countless and unbearable toils of the heat of 
day, of cold and hunger, by land and sea, gladly welcoming 
weariness, fasting, dangers, and the snares not only of foes, but 
also of false friends, for the sake of freeing his brethren. 


League of King Bohert with John Comyn. 

So, in order that he might actually give effect to what he had 
gladly set his heart upon, for the good of the commonwealth, 
he humbly approached a certain noble, named John Comyn 
(who was then the most powerful man in the country), and 
faitlifully laid before him the unworthy thraldom of the country, 
the cruel and endless tormenting of the people, and his own 
kind-hearted plan for giving them relief. Though, by right, 
and according to the laws and customs of the country, the 
honour of the kingly office and the succession to the governance 
of the kingdom were known to belong to him before any one 
else, yet, setting the public advantage before his own, Robert, 
in all purity and sincerity of purpose, gave John the choice 
of one of two courses: either that the latter should reign, 
and wholly take unto himself the kingdom, with its pertinents 
and royal honours, for ever, granting to the former all his own 
lands and possessions; or tliat all Robert's lands and posses- 
sions should come into the possession of John and his for 
ever, while the kingdom and the kingly honour were left to 
Robert. Thus, by their mutual advice as well as help, was to 
be brought to maturity the deliverance of the Scottish nation 


from the house of bondage and unworthy thraldom ; and an in- 
dissoluble treaty of friendship and peace was to last between 
them. John was perfectly satisfied with the latter of the afore- 
said courses ; and thereupon a covenant was made between 
them, and guaranteed by means of sworn pledges, and by their 
indentures with their seals attached thereto. But John broke 
his word ; and, heedless of the sacredness of his oath, kept ac- 
cusing Eobert before the king of England, through his ambas- 
sadors and private letters, and wickedly revealing that Robert's 
secrets. Although, however, Robert was more than once 
sounded thereupon by the aforesaid king, who even showed 
him the letters of his adversary who accused him, yet, inspired 
by God, he always returned an answer such that he over and 
over again softened the king's rage by his pleasant sayings and 
skilful words. The king, however, both because he was him- 
self very wily and shrewd, and knew full well how to feign a 
sham friendship, and also because Robert was the true heir of 
the kingdom of Scotland, looked upon the latter with mistrust, 
— the more so because of John's accusations. So, because of 
his aforesaid grounds for mistrust, Edward bade Robert stay 
always at court ; and he delayed putting him to death — or, at 
least, in prison — only until he could get the rest of this Robert's 
brothers together, and punish them and him at once, in one 
day, with sentence of death. 


King Robert accused "before the King of E7igland, hy John Comyn. 

As the said John's accusations were repeated, at length, one 
night, while the wine glittered in the bowl, and that king 
was hastening to sit down with his secretaries, he talked over 
Robert's death in earnest, — and shortly determined that he would 
deprive him of life on the morrow. But when the Earl of 
Gloucester, who was Robert's true and tried friend in his 
utmost need, heard of this, he hastily, that same night, sent the 
aforesaid Robert, by his keeper of the wardrobe, twelve pencJe 
and a pair of spurs. So the keeper of the wardrobe, who guessed 
his lord's wishes, presented these things to Robert, from his 
lord, and added these words : " My lord sends these to you, in 
return for what he, on his side, got from you yesterday." 
Robert understood, from the tokens offered him, that he was 
threatened by the danger of death ; so he discreetly gave the 
pence to the keeper of the wardrobe, and forthwith sent him 
back to the Earl with greeting in answer, and with thanks. 

332 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

Then, when twilight came on, that night, after having ostenta- 
tiously ordered his servants to meet him at Carlisle, with his 
trappings, on the evening of the following day, he straightway 
hastened towards Scotland, without delay, and never stopped 
travelling, day or night, until he was safe from the aforesaid 
king's spite. Tor he was under the guidance of One of whom 
it is written : — " There is no wisdom, no foresight, no under- 
standing against the Lord, who knoweth how to snatch the 
good from trial, and mercifully to deliver from danger those 
that trust in Him." 


Death of John Comyn's messenger. 

Now, when Eobert was nearing the borders of the marches, 
there met him a messenger whom, when he sighted him afar 
off, he suspected, both from the fellow's gait and from his 
dress, to be a Scot. So, when he got nearer, he asked him 
whence he came and whither he was making his way. The 
messenger began to pour forth excuses for his sins ; but Eobert 
ordered his vassals to search him. Letters, sealed with Eobert's 
seal about the covenant entered into between him and John 
Comyn, were found addressed to the king of England through 
this messenger, and were forthwith pulled out. The messenger's 
head was thereupon struck off, and God very much be praised 
for His guidance in this prosperous journey. 


Death of William Wallace. 

In the year 1305, William Wallace was craftily and treacher- 
ously taken by John of Menteith, who handed him over to the 
king of England ; and he was, in London, torn limb from limb, 
and, as a reproach to the Scots, his limbs were hung on towers 
in sundry places throughout England and Scotland. 


John Comyn's death. 

The same year, after the aforesaid Eobert had left the king 
of England and returned home, no less miraculously than by 


God*s grace, a day is appointed for him and the aforesaid John 
to meet together at Dumfries ; and both sides repair to the 
above-named place. John Comyn is twitted with his treachery 
and belied troth. The lie is at once given. The evil-speaker is 
stabbed, and wounded unto death, in the church of the Friars ; 
and the wounded man is, by the friars, laid behind the altar. 
On being asked by those around whether he could live, straight- 
way his answer is : — " I can." His foes, hearing this, give him 
another wound ; — and thus was he taken away from this world 
on the 10th of February. 


Coronation of King Robert Bruce. 

Now, when a few days had rolled on, after the said John's 
death, this Eobert of Bruce, taking with him as many men as 
he could get, hastened to Scone ; and, being set on the royal 
throne, was there crowned, on the 27tli of March 1306, in the 
manner wherein the kings of Scotland were wont to be invested ; 
— and great was the task he then undertook, and unbearable were 
the burdens he took upon his shoulders. For, not only did he lift 
his hand against the king of England, and all partakers with 
him, but he also launched out into a struggle with all and 
sundry of the kingdom of Scotland, except a very few well- 
wishers of his, who, if one looked at the hosts of those pitted 
against them, were as one drop of water compared with the 
waves of the sea, or a single grain of any seed with the multi- 
tudinous sand. His mishaps, flights, and dangers ; hardships, 
and weariness ; hunger, and thirst ; watchings, and fastings ; 
nakedness, and cold ; snares, and banishment ; the seizing, 
imprisoning, slaughter, and downfall of his near ones, and — 
even more — dear ones (for all this had he to undergo, when 
overcome and routed in the beginning of his war) — no one, now 
living, I think, recollects, or is equal to rehearsing, all this. 
Indeed, he is reported to have said to his knights, one day, when 
worn out by such numberless and ceaseless hardships and 
dangers : — 

" Were I not stirred by Scotland's olden bliss. 
Not for earth's empire would I bear all this." 

Moreover, with all the ill-luck and numberless straits he went 
through with a glad and dauntless heart, were any one able to 
rehearse his own struggles, and triumphs single-handed — the 


victories and battles wherein, by the Lord's help, by his own 
strength, and by his human manhood, he fearlessly cut his way 
into the columns of the enemy, now mightily bearing these 
down, and now mightily warding off and escaping the pains of 
death — he would, I deem, prove that, in the art of fighting, and in 
vigour of body, Eobert had not his match in his time, in any 
clime. I will, therefore, forbear to describe his own individual 
deeds, both because they would take up many leaves, and 
because, though they are undoubtedly true, the time and place 
wherein they happened, and were wrought, are known to few in 
these days. But his well-known battles and public exploits 
will be found set down below, in the years wherein they took 


Battle of Methven. 

The same year, on the 1 9th day of June, King Robert was 
overcome and put to flight, at Methven, by Odomar of Valence, 
who was then warden of Scotland on behalf of the king of 
England, and was staying at the then well-walled town of 
Perth, with a great force of both English and Scots who owed 
fealty and submission to the king of England, Now, though 
the foresaid king did not lose many of his men in this struggle, 
yet, because of the bad beginning, which is often crowned by an 
unhappy ending, his men began to be disheartened, and the 
victorious side to be much emboldened by their victory. Then, 
all the wives of those who had followed the king were ordered 
to be outlawed by the voice of a herald, so that they might follow 
their husbands ; by reason whereof, many women, both single 
and married, lurked with their people in the woods, and cleaved 
to the king, abiding with him, under shelter. 


Conflict at Dairy y in the "borders oj Argyll. 

The same year, while this king was fleeing from his foes, and 
lurking, with his men, in the borders of Athol and Argyll, he 
was again beaten and put to flight, on the 11th of August, at a 
place called Dairy. But there, also, he did not lose many of 
his men. Nevertheless, they were all filled with fear, and 
were dispersed and scattered throughout various places. But 
the queen fled to Saint Duthac in Jioss, wliere she was taken 


by William Earl of Eoss, and brought to the king of England ; 
and she was kept a prisoner in close custody, until the battle of 
Bannockburn. Mgel of Bruce, however, one of the king's 
brothers, fled, with many ladies and damsels, to Kyndrumie 
(Kildrummie) Castle, and was there welcomed, with his com- 
panions. But, the same year, that castle was made over to the 
English through treachery, and Mgel, and other nobles of both 
sexes, were taken prisoners, brought to Berwick, and suffered 
capital punishment. The same year, Thomas and Alexander of 
Bruce, brothers of the aforesaid king, while hastening towards 
Carrick by another road, were taken at Loch Eyan, and beheaded 
at Carlisle — and, thus, all who had gone away and left the king, 
were, in that same year, either bereft of life, or taken and 
thrown into prison. 


Sundry troubles which fell ujpon King Robert 

The Earl of Lennox and Gilbert of Haya, alone among the 
nobles, followed the aforesaid king, and became his inseparable 
companions in all his troubles. And though sometimes, when 
hard pressed by the pursuing foe, they were parted from him in 
body, yet they never departed from fealty and love towards 
him. But, soon after this, it came to pass that the aforesaid 
king was cut off from his men, and underwent endless woes, 
and was tossed in dangers untold, being attended at times by 
three followers, at times by two ; and more often he was left 
alone, utterly without help. Now passing a whole fortnight 
without food of any kind to live upon, but raw herbs and water ; 
now walking barefoot, when his shoes became old and worn out ; 
now left alone in the islands; now alone, fleeing before his 
enemies ; now slighted by his servants ; he abode in utter 
loneliness. An outcast among the nobles, he was forsaken ; 
and the English bade him be sought for through the churches 
like a lost or stolen thing. And thus he became a byword 
and a laughing-stock for all, both far and near, to hiss at. But 
when he had borne these things for nearly a year alone, God, at 
length, took pity on him ; and, aided by the help and power of 
a certain noble lady, Christiana of the Isles, who wished him 
well, he, after endless toils, smart, and distress, got back, by a 
round-about way, to the earldom of Carrick. As soon as he 
had reached that place, he sought out one of his castles, slew 
the inmates thereof, destroyed the castle, and shared the arms 
and other spoils among his men. Then, being greatly gladdened 


by such a beginning after his long spell of ill-luck, he got 
together his men, who had been scattered far and wide ; and, 
crossing the hills with them in a body, he got as far as Inver- 
ness, took the castle thereof with a strong hand, slew its garrison, 
and levelled it with the ground. In this very way dealt he 
with the rest of the castles and strongholds established in the 
north, as well as with their inmates, until he got, with his 
army, as far as Slenach (Slaines). 


Rout at Slenach {Slaines). 

In the year 1307, John Comyn, Earl of Buchan, with many 
nobles, both English and Scots, hearing that Eobert, king of 
Scotland, was, with his army, at Slenach (Slaines), marched 
forward to meet him and give him battle. But when they saw 
the king, with his men, over against them, ready for the fray, 
they halted ; and, on Christmas Day, overwhelmed with shame 
and confusion, they went back, and asked for a truce, which the 
king kindly granted. After the truce had been granted, the 
king abode there, without fear, for eight days ; and he there fell 
into a sickness so severe, that he was borne on a pallet whither- 
soever he had occasion to be moved. 


Death of King Edward /., King of England, 

The same year died Edward i., king of England, on the 5th 
of April, at Burgh-upon-Sands. This king stirred up war as 
soon as he had become a knight, and lashed the English with 
awful scourgings ; he troubled the whole world by his wicked- 
ness, and roused it by his cruelty ; by his wiles, he hindered the 
passage to the Holy Land ; he invaded Wales ; he treacherously 
subdued unto him the Scots and their kingdom ; John of Balliol, 
the king thereof, and his son, he cast into prison ; he overthrew 
churches, fettered prelates, and to some he put an end in filthy 
dungeons ; he slew the people, and committed other misdeeds 
without end. He was succeeded by his son Edward ii., who 
was betrothed to Elizabeth, daughter of Philip, king of France. 



Bout at Inverury, 

In the year 1308, John Comyn and Pliilip of Mowbray, with a 

: great many Scots and English, were again gathered together, at 

I Inverury, But when King Eobert heard of this, though he had 

j not yet got rid of his grievous sickness, he arose from his pallet, 

I whereon he was always carried about, and commanded his men 

I to arm him and set him on horseback. When this had been 

I done, he too, with a cheerful countenance, hastened with his army 

I against the enemy, to the battle-ground — although, by reason of 

t his great weakness, he could not go upright, but with the help 

of two men to prop him up. But when the opposing party saw 

him and his ready for battle, at the mere sight of him they were 

all sore afraid and put to flight ; and they were pursued as far 

as Fivy, twelve leagues off. So when the rout was over, and 

the enemy were overthrown and scattered. King Eobert ravaged 

I the earldom of Buchan with fire ; and, of the people, he killed 

I whom he would, and, to those whom he would have live, he 

granted life and peace. Moreover, even as, from the beginning 

of his warfare until the day of this struggle, he had been most 

unlucky in the upshot of every battle, so, afterwards, there 

could not have been found a man more fortunate in his fights. 

And, from that day, the king gained ground, and became ever 

more hale himself; while the adverse party was daily growing 



Victory over the Gallwegians, at the Biver Dee. 

The same year, at the Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, 
Donald of the Isles gathered together an imposing host of foot, 
and marched up to the river Dee. He was met by Edward of 
Bruce, who overcame the said Donald and all the Gallwegians. 
In this struggle, Edward slew a certain knight named Poland, 
with many of the nobles of Galloway; and arrested their 
leader, the said Donald, who had taken to flight. After this, 
he burnt up the island. 





Conflict of King Bdbert with the men of Argyll. 

The same year, within a week after the Assumption of 
the blessed Virgin Mary, the king overcame the men of Argyll, 
in the middle of Argyll, and subdued the whole land unto himself. 
Their leader, named Alexander of Argyll, fled to Dunstafinch 
(Dunstafihage) Castle, where he was, for some time, besieged by 
the king. On giving up the castle to the king, he refused to do 
him homage. So a safe-conduct was given to him, and to all 
who wished to withdraw with him ; and he fled to England, 
where he paid the debt of nature. 


In the year 1310, so great was the famine and dearth of pro- 
visions in the kingdom of Scotland, that, in most places, many 
were driven, by the pinch of hunger, to feed on the flesh of 
horses and other unclean cattle. 


In the year 1311, the aforesaid King Robert, having put his 
enemies to flight at every place he came to, and having taken 
their fortresses, and levelled them with the ground, twice 
entered England, and wasted it, carrying off untold booty, and 
making huge havoc with fire and sword. Thus, by the power 
of God, the faithless English nation, which had unrighteously 
racked many a man, was now, by God's righteous judgment, 
made to undergo awful scourgings ; and, whereas it had once 
been victorious, now it sank vanquished and groaning. 


The tovm of Perth taken hy King Robert, 

On the 8th of January 1312, the town of Perth was taken 
with the strong hand by that same King Robert; and the disloyal 
people, both Scots and English, were taken, dragged, and slain 
with the sword ; and thus,— 

" Fordone, they drained the gall themselves had brewed." 

The king, in his clemency, spared the rabble, and granted for- 
giveness to those that asked it ; but he destroyed the walls and 


ditches, and consumed everytliing else with fire. The same 
year, the castles of Buth, Dumfries, and Dalswinton, with 
many other strongholds, were taken with the strong hand 
and levelled with the ground. The same year, the town of 
Durham was, in great part, burnt down by the Scots ; Piers 
de Gaveston was killed by the Earl of Lancaster ; and Edward, 
the first-born of the king of England, was born at Windsor, 


BoxburgTi Castle taken hy James of Douglas. 

On Fasten's Even, in the year 1313, Eoxburgh Castle was 
happily taken by the Lord James of Douglas, and, on the 1 4th 
of March, Edinburgh Castle, by the Lord Thomas Eandolph, 
Earl of Moray ; and their foes were overcome. The same year, 
the king entered the Isle of Man, took the castles thereof, and 
victoriously brought the land under his sway. 


Conflict at Bannochhurn. 

Edwaed II., king of England, heariiag of these glorious doings 
of King Kobert's, and seeing the countless losses and endless 
evils brought upon him and his by that king, gathered together, 
in revenge for the foregoing, a very strong army both of well- 
armed horsemen and of foot — crossbow-men and archers, well 
skilled in war-craft. At the head of this body of men, and 
trusting in the glory of man's might, he entered Scotland in 
hostile wise ; and, laying it waste on every side, he got as far 
as Bannockburn. But King Eobert, putting his trust, not in a 
host of people, but in the Lord God, came, with a few men, 
against the aforesaid king of England, on the blessed John 
the Baptist's day, in the year 1314, and fought against him, 
and put him and his to flight, through the help of Him to 
whom it belongeth to give the victory. There, the Earl of 
Gloucester and a great many other nobles were killed ; a 
great many were drowned in the waters, and slaughtered in 
pitfalls ; a great many, of divers ranks, were cut off* by divers 
kinds of death ; and many — a great many — nobles were taken, 
for whose ransom not only were the queen and other Scot- 
tish prisoners released from their dungeons, but even the 
Scots themselves were, all and sundry, enriched very much. 
Among these was also taken John of Brittany, for whom the 


queen and Robert, bishop of Glasgow, were exchanged. From 
that day forward, moreover, the whole land of Scotland not only 
always rejoiced in victory over the English, but also overflowed 
with boundless wealth. 


Edward crosses into Ireland. 

Edward of Bruce, King Robert's brother, entered Ireland, 
with a mighty hand, in the year 1315 ; and, having been set 
up as king there, he destroyed the whole of Ulster, and com- 
mitted countless murders. This, however, some little time 
after, brought him no good. In the year 1316, King Robert 
went to Ireland, to the southern parts thereof, to afford his 
brother succour and help. But, in this march, many died of 
hunger, and the rest lived on horse-flesh. The king, however, 
at once retarned, and left his brother there. In the year 1317, 
the cardinals were plundered, in England, by Robert of Middle- 
ton, who was, soon after, taken, and drawn by horses, in London. 


The toidn of Berwick taken. 

In the year 1318, Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, destroyed 
the northern parts of England ; and, on the 28th of March of 
the same year, the Scots took the town of Berwick, which had 
been, for twenty years, in the hands of the English. On the 
14th of October of the same year was fought the battle of Dun- 
dalk, in Ireland, in which fell the lord Edward of Bruce, and a 
good many Scottish nobles with him. The cause of this war 
was this : Edward was a very mettlesome and high-spirited 
man, and would not dwell together with his brother in peace, 
unless he had half the kingdom to himself ; and for this reason 
was stirred up, in Ireland, this war, wherein, as already stated, 
he ended his life. 


Berwick besieged hy the King of England. 

In the year 1319, on the day of the finding of the Holy 
Cross, Edward, king of England, besieged the town of Berwick ; 
but, meeting with no success, he quickly retreated in great dis- 


order. The same year, the Earl of Moray burnt up the northern 
parts of England, as far as Wetherby ; and, at the end of the 
month of August, he pitched his tents at Boroughbridge. 


Treachery of John of Soulis and his adherents. 

In the beginning of the month of August 1320, Eobert, king 
of Scotland, held his parliament at Scone. There, the lord 
William of Sowlis and the Countess of Stratherne were con- 
victed of the crime of high treason, by conspiring against the 
aforesaid king; and sentence of perpetual imprisonment was 
passed upon them. The lords David of Brechin, Gilbert of 
Malerb, John of Logic, knights, and Pdchard Broune, esquire, 
having been convicted of the aforesaid conspiracy, were first 
drawn by horses, and, in the end, underwent capital punish- 
ment. The lords Eustace of Maxwell, Walter of Barclay, 
sheriff of Aberdeen, and Patrick of Graham, knights, Hamelin 
of Troupe, and Eustace of Ketreve (Eattray), esquires, were 
accused of the same crime, but were not found guilty in any 
way. It so happened, also, at the same time, that when Eoger 
of Mowbray had been released from the trammels of the flesh, 
his body was taken down thither, and convicted of conspiracy ; 
whereupon it was condemned to be drawn by horses, hanged on 
the gallows, and beheaded. But the king had ruth, and was 
stirred with pity : so he yielded him up to God's judgment, 
and commanded that the body of the deceased should be 
handed over for burial by the Church, without having been 
put to any shame. The same year, on the 1 7th of March, our 
lord the Pope's legates came to the king of Scotland, at Berwick, 


In the year 1321, there was a very hard winter, which dis- 
tressed men, and killed nearly all animals. The same year, the 
Earl of Moray destroyed the northern parts of England, and 
the bishopric of Durham, with famine, fire, and sword. 


The King of Scotland crosses into England, and the King of 
England into Scotland, 

On the 1st of July 1322, Eobert, king of Scotland, entered 
England, with a strong hand, and laid it waste for the most 


part, as far as Stanemore, together with the county of Lancaster. 
The same year, on the 1 2th of August, Edward ii., king of 
England, entered Scotland with a great army of horse and foot, 
and a large number of ships, and got as far as the town of Edin- 
burgh ; for he sought to have a struggle and come to blows 
with the aforesaid king. But the king of Scotland, wisely 
shunning an encounter for the nonce, skilfully drew away from 
his army all animals fit for food. So, after fifteen days, 
Edward, being sore pressed by hunger and starvation, went 
home again dismayed, having first sacked and plundered the 
monasteries of Holyrood in Edinburgh, and of Melrose, and 
brought them to great desolation. Eor, in the said monastery 
of Melrose, on his way back from Edinburgh, the lord Wil- 
liam of Peebles, prior of that same monastery, one monk 
who was then sick, and two lay-brethren, were killed in the 
dormitory by the English, and a great many monks were 
wounded unto death. The Lord's Body was cast forth upon 
the high altar, and the pyx wherein it was kept was taken 
away. The monastery of Dryburgh was utterly consumed 
with fire, and reduced to dust ; and a great many other holy 
places did the fiery flames consume, at the hands of the afore- 
said king's forces. But God rewarded them therefor, and it 
brought them no good. Eor, the same year, on the 1st of 
October, King Bobert marched into England in hostile wise, 
and utterly laid it waste, as far as York, sacking the monas- 
teries, and setting fire to a great many cities and towns. But 
Edward ii., king of England, came against him at Biland, with 
a great force, both of paid soldiers from France, and others 
hired from a great many places, and of natives of the kingdom 
itself; but he was put to flight at the above-named place, in the 
heart of his own kingdom, not without great slaughter of his 
men, and in no little disorder. Out of his army, John of Brit- 
tany, Henry of Stibly (Sully), and other nobles, not a few, 
fled to the monastery of Rivaulx, and were there taken ; and 
they were afterwards ransomed for sums untold. Thus, the 
king of Scotland, having gained a gladsome victory, went home 
again, with his men, in great joy and honour. The same year, 
on the 1st of October, Andrew of Barclay was taken, and, 
having been convicted of treachery, undenvent capital punish- 



Arabassadors sent ty the King of Scotland to the Pojpe and the 
King of France. 

In the year 1325, amhass^dors were sent by Eobert, king of 
Scotland, to treat for a renewal of the friendship and alliance 
formerly struck up between the kings of France and Scotland, 
and to restore them in force for ever, that they might last for 
all time imto them and their successors ; and also that he might 
be at one, and come to a good understanding, with the holy 
Eoman Church, which had, through the insinuations of enemies, 
been somewhat irritated against the king and kingdom. So 
when all this business had been happily despatched, these mes- 
sengers sped safely home again. In that year — on Monday 
the 5th of March, to wit, in the first week of Lent — David, 
King Eobert's son, and the heir of Scotland, who succeeded 
his father in the kingdom, was born in the monastery of Dun- 
fermline, after complines. 


The Queen of England brings hired soldiers into England. 

In the year 1326, the lady Elizabeth, queen of England, 
brought a great many hired soldiers from sundry parts of the 
world ; and, after having taken her husband. King Edward, and 
thrown him into prison, she bade Hugh de Spensa (Despenser), 
and his father, be hanged on the gallows, and be torn limb from 
limb. Because of this outbreak, a bishop was beheaded in Lon- 
don ; and a great many earls, barons, and nobles were every- 
where condemned to a most shameful death. The same year, 
Edward iii., then fifteen years old, on his father being thrown into 
prison, was, though unwilling, crowned king of England, at 
Candlemas. That year, moreover, was, all over the earth, beyond 
the memory of living man, fruitful and plentiful in all things to 
overflowing. The same year, the whole Scottish clergy, the earls 
and barons, and all the nobles, were gathered together, with the 
people, at Cambuskenneth, and, in presence of King Eobert 
himself, took the oaths to David, King Eobert's son and heir, 
— and to Eobert Stewart, the aforesaid king's grandson, in case 
that same David died childless. There, also, Andrew of Moray 
took to wife the lady Christina, that king's sister. 



Messengers sent to the King of Scotland "by the English. 

In the year 1327, the English sent messengers to the king of 
Scotland, under a show of wishing to treat for a secure peace. 
But though they met together more than once, they made no 
way. At length their double-dealing was laid bare, and the 
Scots entered the northern parts of England, with a strong hand, 
on the 1 5th of June, and wasted it with fire and sword. The 
same year, in the month of August, the Earl of Moray and 
James of Douglas, with many Scottish nobles, invaded England, 
with arms in their hands, and, after having brought great loss 
upon the English, pitched their tents in a certain narrow place 
named Weardale ; while, over against them, and at the outlet of 
the road, as it were, over 100,000 English troops were posted 
round the Scots. There the armies lay, for eight days, in sight 
of each other, and daily harassed one another with mutual 
slaughter; but they shunned a hand-to-hand battle. At 
length, however, the Scots, like wary warriors, sought an oppor- 
tunity of saving themselves ; and, having struck down in death 
many of the foe, and taken a great many English and Hain- 
aulters, they returned home safe and sound, by a round-about 
road, by night. 


The same year, a few days after their retreat, the king of 
Scotland besieged Norham Castle, and, soon after, Alnwick 
Castle, one after the other; and, in that siege of Norham, 
William of Montealt, knight, John of Clapham, and Robert of 
Dobery, were killed through their own want of skill. The 
same year, on the 17th of March, ambassadors were sent by 
the king of England to the king of Scotland, at Edinburgh, to 
arrange and treat for a firm and lasting peace, which should 
abide for all time. So, after sundry negotiations, and the many 
and various risks of war incurred by both kingdoms, the afore- 
said kings there came to an understanding together about an 
indissoluble peace ; and the chiefs and worthies of either king- 
dom tendered their oaths thereto, which were to last unshaken 
for all time, swearing upon the soul of each king faithfully to 
keep all and sundry things, as they are more fully contained 
under certain articles of the instruments thereof, drawn up on 
either side as to the form of the peace. And, that it might be 


a true peace, which should go on without end between them 
and between their respective successors, the king of Scotland, 
of his own free and unbiassed will, gave and granted 30,000 
merks in cash to the king of England, for the losses he himself 
had brought upon the latter and his kingdom; and the said 
king of England gave his sister, named Joan, to King Eobert's 
son and heir, David, to wife, for the greater security of peace, 
and the steady fostering of the constancy of love. 


Espousal of King David — Death of William of Lamberton, 
Bisliop of Saint Andrews. 

On the 17th of July 1328, David, King Eobert's son and 
heir, was, to the unspeakable joy of the people of either king- 
dom, married to Joan, sister of Edward III., king of England, 
at Berwick, in presence of Elizabeth, the girl's mother, then 
queen of England. The same year died William of Lamberton, 
bishop of Saint Andrews. 


Death of King Bdbert of Bruce. 

On the 7th of June 1329, died Eobert of Bruce, of goodly 
memory, the illustrious king of Scots, at Cardross, in the 
twenty-fourth year of his reign. He was, beyond all living 
men of his day, a valiant knight. 


Death of James of Douglas. 

On the 26th of August 1330, James of Douglas and the king 
of Spain gathered together the hosts which were flocking from 
different parts of the world, in aid of the Holy Land, and warred 
down the Sultan, and numberless Saracens with him ; and 
when these had been overcome and put to flight, after a great 
many of them had been killed, and the booty had been shared, 
the said king went back safely, with his army. But the afore- 
said James, alas ! kept a very few with him, as his army ; and 
as this was by no means hidden from another sultan, who was 
lurking in ambush, the latter, with his men, started out from 
his hiding-place, and challenged James to battle. No sooner 

346 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

had the said James recognised his army and banners afar off, 
than, in his fearlessness, he dashingly charged them with his 
men. A great many Saracens were there slain; and James 
himself ended his days there in bliss, while he and his were 
struggling for Christ's,? sake. With him, a certain William of 
St. Clair, and Eobert Logan, knights, and a great many others, 
lost their lives. This James was, in his day, a brave hammerer 
of the English; and the Lord bestowed so much grace upon 
him in his life, that he everywhere triumphed over the 


Coronation of King David. 

On the 24th of November 1331, David, son and heir of 
King Eobert, was anointed king of Scots, and crowned at Scone, 
by the lord James Ben, bishop of Saint Andrews, specially 
appointed thereunto by a Bull of the most holy father John xxii., 
then sovereign Pontiff. We do not read that any of the kings 
of Scotland, before this David, w^ere anointed, or with such 
solemnity crowned. The same day, John Stewart, Earl of Angus 
— Thomas Eandolph, son and heir of Thomas Earl of Moray — 
and other nobles of the kingdom of Scotland, received the order 
of knighthood. 


Battle of Duplin, 

' On the 20th of July 1332, died Thomas Eandolph, Earl of 
Moray, and warden of Scotland. After his death, all the 
magnates, both churchmen and laymen, were gathered together 
at Perth, on the 2d of August; and, after a great deal of 
wrangling and sundry disputes, they, with one voice, chose 
Donald, Earl of Mar, as guardian of the kingdom. On that very 
day, news was brought to the said guardian, and to the rest of 
the lords of the kingdom, that Edward of Balliol had brought up, 
in the water of Forth, with a great throng of ships, on the 31st 
of July ; and on the 6th of August, Balliol landed at Kinghorn. 
The same day Alexander of Seton, with a few men, withstood him 
in front, and fell, with three or four others. Tlie said Edward, 
however, marched on thence, with his men ; and, after calling at 
the monastery of Dunfermline, reached Duplin Moor on the 
11th of the aforesaid month. Here a desperate battle was 


fought, from the dawn of day until the ninth hour ; Edward 
was victorious ; and great ruin loomed up before the Scottish 
nation. On that day, the said guardian, with the two Earls of 
Moray and Menteith, the lords Eobert Bruce, Alexander Eraser, 
and other valiant nobles, barons, knights, and squires, and men 
of lower condition and rank without number, perished in this 
no less astounding than unhappy massacre, struck down, not 
by the strength of man, but by the vengeance of God, Eor, 
from the bruising of their bodies squeezing against one another, 
more fell, though unwounded, than were slain by shaft or sword. 
Moreover, Duncan Earl of Eife (under whose banner 360 men- 
at-arms had been killed), and many others, were taken. 


Edward of Balliol made King at Scone. 

The same year, on the 24th of September, the aforesaid 
Edward pf Balliol was made king, at Scone, by Duncan, Earl of 
Eife, and William of St. Clair, bishop of Dunkeld, who had 
beforehand submitted to this Edward ; and there were gathered 
together there the abbots, priors, and Estates (communitas) of 
Eife and Eothreve, Stratherne, and Gowry, whose submission had 
already been received by the above-mentioned Edward. The 
names of the magnates who came with this Edward, in order to 
get their own lands in the kingdom of Scotland, are these : — 
Henry of Beaumont ; David, Earl of Athol ; Henry of Eerrers, 
with his two brothers; Alexander of Arnot (Moubray); Eichard 
Talbot; Walter Comyn; and many others. Now these, when 
they marched forward to battle, were 600 in all; while the 
Scottish army was 30,000 strong. The slain are put at 3000. 


The town of Perth taken — Battle of Annan. 

The same year, on the 7th of October, was taken the town of 
Perth ; wherein was taken Duncan, Earl of Eife (warden of 
that town on behalf of the aforesaid Edward of Balliol) to- 
gether with his wife's daughter, and many other kinsfolk of 
his. Among others, Andrew of Tulibardine was taken, and con- 
victed of being a traitor towards the king ; so he suffered the 
death of the body. The same year, on the 1 6th of December, 
John Eandolph, Earl of Moray, Archibald of Douglas, and 
Simon Eraser, with a few other nobles, were gathered together 


in the town of Moffat, and came, by night, to the town of 
Annan. There they soon came suddenly to blows with Edward 
of Balliol, and Edward was put to flight. In this struggle, 
John of Mowbray, Henry of Balliol, Walter Comyn, and many 
others, were slain ; and Edward himself barely escaped, with a 
few followers. Alexander of Bruce was there taken by the 
Earl of Moray, but snatched from death. 


Conflict at Halidon. 

On the 31st of March 1333, the town of Berwick was be- 
sieged by Edward ill., king of England. Having broken the 
bonds of peace and alliance, he, with all the strength of Wales, 
Gascony, and England — having been, moreover, joined by the 
many Scots who sided with Edward of Balliol — steadily kept up 
the said siege until the 1 9th of July. On that day was fought 
the rueful battle of Halidon, where (according to meaning of 
its name aforesaid) the Scots were overcome, and almost utterly 
swept away — especially those who abetted, and had tenderly at 
heart the cause of king David. The names of those killed on 
king David's side are these: — Archibald of Douglas, then 
guardian of Scotland ; Hugh, Earl of Boss ; Kenneth, Earl of 
Sutherland; Alexander of Bruce, Earl of Carrick; Andrew 
Eraser, and his brother Simon; James Eraser; and a great 
many other nobles, whose names it would be more sad than 
profitable to repeat one by one. In the town of Berwick, at 
that time, were Patrick Earl of March, and the warden of the 
aforesaid town — Alexander of Seton, the father, whose son, 
named Thomas, had been given to the king of England, as a 
hostage for the surrender of the aforesaid town on or before a 
day beforehand fixed upon therefor. But when the time had 
run out, forasmuch as the aforesaid Alexander was still await- 
ing succour, and would not give up the town on the day fixed 
upon, this Thomas was hanged on the gallows, before his 
father's face; while his brother, named William, had, on ac- 
count of the defence of the town, been, a little before, drowned 
among the English ships, while the father looked on. But 
after the battle had been fought, straightway all hope of rescue 
and help was quenched, and the town was surrendered and given 
up to the king of England, aU the dwellers therein being saved 
harmless in life, limb, and property. 



Dispute hetween Ediuard of Balliol, and Henry of Beaumont, 
and David y Earl of Athol. 

About the end of the month of August 1334, a misunder- 
standing arose at Perth between Edward of Balliol, who stood 
up for Alexander of Mowbray, and the Lords Henry of Beau- 
mont, David Earl of Athol, and Eichard Talbot, who were 
striving to oust the said Alexander from his inheritance, and to 
bring in his brother's daughters before him, by right of succes- 
sion. So, being at odds upon this matter, they withdrew from 
one another. Edward took the road towards Berwick ; Henry 
of Beaumont, towards Dundrage (Dundarg) ; the Earl of Athol, 
towards Lochindorb. Eichard Talbot made for England ; and, 
while on his way through Lothian, he and his followers were 
there taken prisoners, on the 8th of September. The Lord 
Alexander of Mowbray, however, fearing the strength of the 
opposite side, cast in his lot altogether with Andrew of Moray, 
who had, a little before, on payment of his ransom, been set 
free from prison. So, with their united forces, they together 
besieged Henry of Beaumont, for some time, in Dundrage 
Castle. But Henry of Beaumont, despairing of being relieved, 
taking into account, moreover, the want of provisions, and re- 
flecting that he could not defend the castle, yielded and gave 
up the aforesaid castle to the above-mentioned Andrew and 
Alexander, on the 23d of December, on condition of being 
saved harmless in life, limb, and all his goods, and being 
granted, besides, a safe and sure conduct to cross into England, 
with his wife, children, and whole family ; and he promised 
faithfully, and duly swore, to exert himself for the restoration 
of peace. After not many days had rolled by, he and his went 
on board ship at Dundee, and betook themselves to England 
without delay. John of Eandolph, Earl of Moray, however, 
who, after the struggle at Annan, had straightway gone to the 
king of France, came home again, then, all of a sudden, and 
doggedly pursued the Earl of Athol, through rough ways and 
smooth ; so the latter, seeing that he could in no wise escape, 
was forced, by the violent pursuit of the Earl of Moray, to sub- 
mit to King David, on the 27th of September, tendering him 
fealty and homage, which he confirmed by oath. 

350 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Messengers of the King of France. 

The same year, on the 4tli of March, there came to Perth 
messengers, sent by the king of France to treat for peace 
between the kings of Scotland and England. This step was 
taken with the consent, as well as by the directions, of the 
supreme Pontiff, Benedict xii., who addressed letters-patent 
severally to the kings of Scotland and England. The king of 
England, however, would not deign to hear, or even see, them. 
Other messengers, again, from the kings of France and Scotland, 
were sent ; but he utterly rejected peace and concord. 


The King of England comes to Perth, with Edward of Balliol. 

In the month of April 1335, Eobert Stewart, and the Earl 
of Moray, then guardian of Scotland, held their parliament at 
Dervesy (Dairsy) ; and there appeared there the Earl of March, 
Andrew of Moray, Alexander of Mowbray, and William of 
Douglas, on the one hand — who behaved discreetly and quietly, 
— and David Earl of Athol, with a great force, on the other ; 
but, by reason of the latter's insolence, nothing was there 
done worthy of aught but scorn. This man cleaved to Stewart 
(who was then not governed by much wisdom), and, looking 
down upon the Earl of Moray, became very troublesome to all 
who were there ; but the wary tact of the first-named nobles 
skilfully parried his wild fierceness. The same year, by direc- 
tion of the guardians, all the inhabitants dwelling in the plains 
fled, in crowds, to the hills and fastnesses, with their movable 
goods and all their beasts ; and, on the 6th of July, the fleet 
of the king of England brought up in the water of Forth. Then 
the king of England, and Edward of Balliol, who had with them 
90,000 horsemen and nine score ships, pitched their tents at 
Perth ; and, tarrying there until the arrival of the Earl of Athol, 
they plundered all the country round. 


John Earl of Moray taken. 

The same year, on the 30th of July, the Count of Gellere 
(Guelders), who had come over from parts beyond the sea to 
bring help to the king of England, on this same pending matter, 


came to blows, at Edinburgh, with the united forces of the Earl of 
March, and the Earl of Moray (who kept away from the northern 
districts, because of the tyrannousness of the Earl of Athol) ; but 
he was beaten, and had to yield. The Earl of Moray, however, 
who was beyond measure courteous and soft-hearted towards his 
foes, feeling sure that he would thereby give great pleasure to 
the king of Trance, from whom he had lately parted, let the afore- 
said Count of Gellere and his men go back free and scathless, 
without ransom or any other burden, and restored the booty 
which had been taken from him ; — and all for love of the king 
of France. And, the better to show his good-will, he accom- 
panied him in person to the marches ; but he was overtaken 
unawares by the onslaught of the garrison of a castle, taken by 
those churls, and thrown into prison. The same year, when not 
many days were overpast, the Earl of Athol made his submission 
to the king of England and to Edward of Balliol, and swore 
fealty to them, at Perth, faithfully promising them that he 
would, before long, bring back under their sway all the Scot- 
tish magnates. On the strength of this promise, he was made 
warden of Scotland on behalf of those kings. After these 
things, those who had fled came back, the castles were fortified, 
the kingdom was tranquillized, and the king of England re- 
turned, with his forces ; but the great tjrranny and cruelty this 
Earl practised among the people words cannot bring within the 
mind's grasp : some he disinherited, others he murdered ; and, 
in the end, he cast in his mind how he might wipe all the free- 
holders from off the face of the earth. 


Death of the Earl of Athol, at Kilhlen, 

There were, at that time, three ^magnates of Scotland, — to 
wit, Andrew of Moray, who was, the same year, about the Feast 
of St. Matthew, made guardian of Scotland on behalf of King 
David, at Dunbretane (Dumbarton) ; the Earl of March ; and 
William of Douglas— who had not yet made their submission 
to the English, or to Edward of Balliol, but had, through the 
respect and forbearance, in some wise, of the king and magnates 
of England, been lurking in hiding, now here, now there, look- 
ing with gaping mouth, as it were, for better times. Now, when 
the aforesaid imdrew learnt, from hearsay, that his castle, with 
his wife, was besieged by the aforesaid Earl, he asked and got 
leave from the lord William of Montagu (then a chief councillor 
of the king of England), and, with the help of the aforesaid Earl 

352 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 

of March and William of Douglas, made ready, with all haste, 
to relieve his castle. So these three, with their abettors, heartily 
sympathizing with their sorrowing countrymen in their awful 
sufferinfjs, chose rather to die in battle than see the woes of 
their nation. So, with one consent, and with a lusty heart, 
they gave themselves to danger as a ransom for their thraldom ; 
and, raging like bears or lions robbed of their cubs, they 
hastened to battle. They came to blows on the 30th of Novem- 
ber, in the forest of Kilblen, where they slaughtered the Earl 
himself, as well as five knights and the rest of his partisans, 
under an oak ; and when they had got the victory, they merci- 
fully spared the rabble who were with him against their will. 
After this struggle, the said Andrew and the others came to the 
castle of Cupar, and besieged it. Therein were a great many Scots 
who had gone over to the English ; but, on receipt of letters 
from the kings of France and Scotland, he granted the garrison 
of the castle a truce up to a certain time. In the meantime he 
called the chiefs of the kingdom together at Dunfermline, and 
was there, by all, approved as guardian of Scotland. He then 
went off beyond the hills, and tarried long in the north. 


The King of England and Edward of Balliol arrive at Perth. 

In the year 1336, the king of England and Edward of Balliol 
came to Perth, with a great force both by sea and by land ; and, 
taking with him some chosen men, the aforesaid king hastened 
straight to Lochindorb, whence he brought away the wife and 
the heir of David Earl of Athol. Then, consuming the whole 
of Moray with fire, he reached Elgin ; and, marching on thence — 
leaving, moreover, the churches and canonical buildings of Elgin 
untouched — he, by the all-devouring flames, levelled with the 
ground the town of Aberdeen ; and thus he came back to the 
town of Perth, after having strengthened the strongholds 
of Dunottar, Kynnef, and Lauriston. Then, after talking 
matters over earnestly, he, by the advice, especially, of the 
aforesaid men of the kingdom of Scotland, ordered that the 
town of Perth should, with all haste, be strengthened in its walls 
and moats, towers and gates ; and he singled out six monasteries 
— viz.,Dunfermline, Saint Andrews, Lindores, Balmurinach (Bal- 
merino), Abberbrothoc (Arbroath), and Coupar-Angus — to build 
up, of hewn stone, at their own charges and expense, the three 
greater sides, with as many towers. By the impost for these 
works, the said monasteries were greatly impoverished. At the 


same time, the castles of Saint Andrews and of Lochris (Leu- 
chars), were rebuilt by Henry of Beaumont and Henry of 
Ferrers. The same year, while the king of England tarried at 
the town of Perth, his brother, John of Eltham, making his 
way through the western districts of Scotland, consumed with 
fire and sword the lands which had lately submitted to the 
king, his brother ; and a great many souls who fled to the 
churches, were, with the churches themselves, destroyed and 
clean swept away by being set on fire. The king, however, at 
Perth, took him to task for all this, — as he was bound to do ; 
and when he answered the king in angry mood, he was suddenly 
smitten by his brother's sword, and shuffled off this mortal coil. 
But the king soon after went back to England, and left Edward 
of Balliol, with a strong force, in the town of Perth. At this 
time, Henry of Beaumont, whenever he of himself, or through 
others, could catch any who had taken part in the struggle at 
Kilblene, ordered them all, in revenge for the death of his son-in- 
law, to be racked with divers tortures, and put to death with- 
out mercy. Among these, much guiltless blood was shed. The 
same year, Strivelyn (Stirling) Castle was strengthened by Sir 
William of Montagu, who set Sir Thomas of Eokeby therein ; 
Edinburgh Castle, by Sir John of Strivelyn (Stirling); and 
Eoxburgh Castle, by Sir William of Eelton, knights. 


Andrew of Moray. 

The same year, in the month of October, Andrew of Moray, 
then guardian of Scotland, mustered an army, and besieging 
the strongholds of Dunnottar, Kynneff, and Lauriston, took 
them, and levelled them with the ground. Then he tarried 
the whole winter in the forest of Platen, and other very safe 
places in Angus, being often waylaid by the English, and 
braving their dangerous attacks. So, through the ceaseless 
marauding of both sides, the whole land of Gowrie, Angus, and 
Mearns was, for the most part, almost reduced to a hopeless 
wilderness, and to utter want. The same year, in the month of 
February, shortly after the stronghold of Kinclevin had been 
broken down to the very foundation, this same guardian com- 
bined with the Earls of March and of Fife, William of Douglas, 
and many other nobles of Scotland, and marched into Fife, 
where he levelled with the ground the tower of Falkland, plun- 
dered the land everywhere around, took the inhabitants pri- 
soners, and put them up for ransom. Thus he got to Saint 

VOL. II. z 


Andrews, and, with his engines, mightily besieged the castle 
thereof for three weeks. On the last day of February, this 
castle was surrendered unto him, on condition of the inmates 
thereof being saved harmless in life, limb, and all their goods. 
Luchris (Leuchars) Castle had, a little while before, been dealt 
with in like manner in all respects. Afterwards, shifting his 
camp thence on the 6th of March, he got to the tower of Both- 
well in the following Lent, took it by storm after some little 
time, and levelled it with the ground ; — not without loss to his 
men, however, for Stephen Wisman fell there. 


Andrew of Moray besieges Strivelyn {Stirling) Castle. 

In the months of April and May 1337, Strivelyn (Stirling) 
Castle was besieged by this guardian. But, upon the king of 
England coming with a large army, the guardian saw that they 
were too many for him to withstand in battle. So he and his 
withdrew therefrom, safe and sound, after William of Keith 
had been, no less unhappily than strangely, killed with his own 
lance. The same year Edinburgh Castle was besieged by him, and 
the Estates (commimitas) of Lothian submitted unto him. But, 
by means of the falsehood and deceit of certain Scotsmen, he was, 
by the English forces, made to withdraw from the siege thereof, 
after he had appointed Lawrence of Preston sheriff of Lothian. 
Thereupon followed, on the part both of Scots and English, the 
wholesale destru'ction of Lothian. The same year, on the 13th 
of January, Dunbar Castle was besieged by William of Montagu, 
Earl of Salisbury, and the Earl of Arundel, the leaders of the 
English king's army. This siege was kept up with the strong 
hand, with many huge engines, balisters, and all the contri- 
vances of war-craft, for twenty-two weeks ; and, on the 1 6th of 
June next following, they were called back by letters precep- 
tory from the king of England, leaving their task undone. The 
same year, happily for the kingdom of Scotland, was begun a 
very fearful and savage war between the kings of England and 


Death of Andrew of Moray. 

In the year 1338 died Andrew of Moray, the warden 
of Scotland, and was buried at Eosemarky; but his bones 
were afterwards brought dowh to Dunfermline, and entombed 


before the altar of the Blessed Virgin, in the monastery of that 
place. He did a good deal for his country's freedom ; and 
assaulted and destroyed all the castles and strongholds held by 
the English about the water of Forth, except Cupar and Perth. 
But all the country he marched through, in his wars, he reduced 
to such desolation and distress, that more perished afterwards, 
through starvation and want, than the sword devoured in time 
of war. He was two years and a half guardian of Scotland. The 
same year, Eobert Stewart was made guardian of Scotland, and 
stood until King David's arrival. 


The town of Perth lesieged and taken. 

In the year 1339, the town of Perth was besieged by the said 
Eobert and the rest of the magnates of the kingdom. It was 
held, on behalf of the English, by Thomas Otyr (Ughtred), who 
had with him a great many Scots that cleaved to Edward of 
Balliol. On the 1 7th of August, the aforesaid town was sur- 
rendered, on condition that the English were saved harmless in 
life, limb, and all their moveables. Accordingly, they left Scot- 
land with all haste — some, by a sea-voyage, others, by a land 
journey — amid much jeering, after yielding their lands and pos- 
sessions to the Scots, and submitting to such wrongs as had 
been shamelessly heaped upon the king and the natives in the 
time of the war. I should mention that there took part in the 
siege of the said town a naval commander from France, named 
Haupilie, with two ships laden with freebooters. At the first 
onslaught he made upon the English, this man lost his ship, 
through over-much foolhardiness and want of skill. There also 
took part thereat two knights from France, with their vassals, 
and a famous squire, named Giles de la Huse. N"ow the said 
commander, after having recovered the ship he had previously 
lost, was given money by the guardian, as a reward for his trouble; 
then, going on board ship with the knights and his own servants, 
hoisted the sail, and, being caught in a squall, at the outlet of 
Drumlie, at once went to the bottom. But the said squire, who 
was on board another ship, escaped unhurt the maw of the awful 
gulf. I should mention, likewise, that, at the time of the siege 
of the aforesaid town of Perth, the lord William Bullock, a chap- 
lain, warden of the castle of Cupar, chamberlain of Scotland, on 
behalf of Edward of Balliol, and lieutenant and treasurer of all 
the English and their adherents in the kingdom of Scotland, 
after having liberal compensation granted him for his lands and 


possessions, surrendered the above-mentioned castle to the 
warden, and became, with his party. King David's liege man. 
He, moreover, took part in the aforesaid siege with all his 
might, lending efficient help, and imparting useful advice. This 
man, who was distinguished, above all of his day, for his tact 
and the terse eloquence of his speech in his mother tongue, had 
risen suddenly from the lowest depths. First, he was chamber- 
lain with Edward of Balliol, and treasurer to the rest of the 
English ; and, lastly, chamberlain of Scotland with King David, 
the greatest among his first councillors, and renowned for shrewd 
and skilful advice — indeed, equally by the king and lords of 
Scotland, and by the king of England, he was held worthy to be 
praised as a second Coucy. But, after he had filled sundry 
different offices, and had amassed boundless wealth, he was at 
length suspected of treason, and suddenly dismissed from his 
office of chamberlain, when as he thought he stood fast ; and, by 
the king's command, he was all at once taken by David Barclay, 
and kept in custody at Malimora. Thus, after much happiness 
and success, adversity came back to him ; and he ended his life 
by an unhappy death. Therein was very strikingly fulfilled 
that saying of the poet : — 

" The more man's life is strained to reach success. 
The stronger the recoil to wretchedness." 


On the 17th of April 1341, Edinburgh Castle was taken with 
the strong hand, no less fortunately than cleverly, by the lords 
William of Douglas, William Eraser, and William Bullock, with 
their party, after they had subdued the whole garrison of that 
castle. The same year — in 1341, to wit — on the 2d of June, 
David, by the grace of God the illustrious king of Scots, came 
back from France to Scotland. He and the queen were brought 
over by a fleet to Inverbervie, and landed safe and sound. 


Roxburgh Castle taken hy Alexander of Ramsay. 

On the 30th of March 1342 — which, that year, was Easter 
Eve — about cock-crow, Alexander of Ramsay and his followers 
scaled the walls of Roxburgh Castle by ladders, and took it 
with the strong hand, after they had overcome all the guards, 
and slain some. 



Death of this Alexander. 

The same year, on the 20th of June, Alexander Eamsay, 
warden of Eoxbnrgh Castle, and sheriff of Teviotdale, summoned 
before him, at Hawick, all in the said sheriffdom, and repaired 
thither in person. But when he had been a long while await- 
ing, in the church of that town, the arrival of those summoned, 
in order that he might discharge his duty, and had not the least 
inkling of guile or ill-will, news was brought him that William 
of Douglas was on the point of coming thither. Eamsay, al- 
though he had been put on his guard about William's fierceness, 
suspected no evil from him, inasmuch as, shortly before, all 
misunderstandings had been settled, and friendship renewed 
afresh ; so he waited in the church for William's coming. When 
William came in, Eamsay rose, and, greeting him peacefully, 
asked him to sit down beside him. But William and his men, 
armed as they were, ruthlessly fell upon him and three others 
who came to his rescue, and seized and wounded them with 
ghastly wounds, in the bosom, of holy mother Church. As for 
Alexander himself, they bound him with chains, set him on 
horseback, and took him away ; and, when he had been brought 
down to Hermitage Castle (near Castleton), he is said to have 
lived seventeen days without any bodily sustenance ; and, forti- 
fied by partaking of the Saving Host, he paid the debt of nature 
on that same seventeenth day after he was taken. Eamsay had 
done a good deal for the king and for the country's freedom : he 
had felled the foe everywhere around, greatly checked their 
attacks, won many a victory, done much good, and — so far as man 
can judge — would have done more, had he lived longer. In brave 
deeds of arms, and in bodily strength he surpassed all others of 
his day ; and even as he was mightier than the rest in deeds of 
arms, so was he luckier in his struggles. But the old enemy 
envied his prowess, and roused against him one who, governed 
by envy, not only traitorously, but also most pitifully, wrested 
from him, and destroyed, the badges of his virtues. 


ISTow as, from the day of the struggle at Kilblene until this 
Alexander's death, all things, in the result of every war, 
were brought to a prosperous issue, so, when he was taken away 
from our midst, all things which were tried for the good of 
the country had straightway, on the contrary, an unlucky 


result. For, through this Alexander's death, feuds and misun- 
derstandings, undying — as it were — and endless, arose in the 
kingdom, not only among the lords, but even among the com- 
mon people; so that, thenceforth, they murdered each other 
with mutual slaughter, and slew each other with the sword. 


In the year 1344 there was so great a pestilence among 
the fowls, that men utterly shrank from eating, or even look- 
ing upon, a cock or a hen, as though unclean and smitten with 
leprosy ; and thus, as well as from the aforesaid cause, nearly 
the whole of that species was destroyed. 


Battle of Durham fought. 

In the month of October 1346, David, king of Scotland, 
gathered his army together, and marched, in great force, into 
England. On the 17th of October, a battle was fought at 
Durham, with the English, and King David was defeated and 
taken prisoner ; while all his nobles were taken with him, or 
killed — except Patrick of Dunbar, Earl of March, and Kobert, 
steward of Scotland, who took to flight, and got away unhurt. 
Together with the king, were there taken the Earl of Fife; 
Malcolm Flemyng, Earl of Wigtown ; the Earl of Menteith, who 
was afterwards drawn by horses in England, and was put to 
death, racked with divers tortures ; William of Douglas ; and 
many other barons, nobles, valiant knights, and picked squires. 
The killed were John of Eandolph, Earl of Moray ; the Earl of 
Stratherne ; the constable of Scotland ; the marshal of Scotland ; 
the chamberlain of Scotland; and numberless other barons, 
knights, squires, and good men. The same year, just after 
the aforesaid battle, the castles of Koxburgh and Hermitage 
(near Castleton) were surrendered to the English ; and Lothian 
was consumed by fire. 


Robert Stewart, gvxirdian of Scotland.. 

The same year, not long after that battle took place, thej 
chief men who were left were gathered together, and, lest thej 
state of the commonwealth should be thrown into confusioi 
chose unto themselves, a^ guardian, the lord Kobert, steward 


Scotland, the aforesaid king's nephew ; deeming that, forasmuch 
as he was the most powerful of all, the general interests would 
be most strongly guarded by him. But how he governed in the 
office of warden — how he governed the kingdom intrusted unto 
him, his deeds show forth unto all times. 


Pestilence among men. 

In the year 1350, there was, in the kingdom of Scotland, so 
great a pestilence and plague among men (which also prevailed 
for a great many years before and after, in divers parts of the 
world — nay, all over the whole earth), as, from the beginning of 
the world even unto modern times, had never been heard of by 
man, nor is found in books, for the enlightenment of those who 
come after. For, to such a pitch did that plague wreck its cruel 
spite, that nearly a third of mankind were thereby made to pay 
the debt of nature. Moreover, by God's will, this evil led to 
a strange and unwonted kind of death, insomuch that the 
flesh of the sick was somehow puffed out and swollen, and they 
dragged out their earthly life for barely two days. Now this 
everywhere attacked especially the meaner sort and common 
people ; — seldom the magnates. Men shrank from it so much 
that, through fear of contagion, sons, fleeing as from the face of 
leprosy or from an adder, durst not go and see their parents in 
the throes of death. 


Death of the Lord David of Barclay. 

In the year 1351, on Fasten's Even, that noble and mighty 
man, the lord David of Barclay, knight, was inhumanly and 
treacherously slain, at Aberdeen, by John of Saint Michael and 
his accomplices ; — though it is reported that it was through the 
intrigues of the lord William of Douglas (who was then a prisoner 
in England), to avenge his brother, John of Douglas, whom this 
David had caused to be seized. The aforesaid John of Saint 
Michael, however, and all others, his abettors, who took part in 
this murder, were, after no long interval of time, destroyed one 
after the other, by the sword of vengeance ; and not even one 
of them escaped death. 

360 JOHN OF fordun's chronicle 


Matilda of Bruce and her Offspring, 

In the year 1353, Matilda of Bruce, sister of the lord David, 
king of Scotland, died at Aberdeen, on the Feast of the blessed 
virgin Margaret, and was buried in Dunfermline, with her 
father and mother. She wedded a certain squire, named Thomas 
Isaac, who, of her, begat two daughters. The elder, named Joan, 
wedded a noble and mighty man, John of Lome, lord of that 
ilk ; who, of her, begat sons and daughters. Matilda's younger 
daughter, named Catherine, was taken away from this life at 
Strivelyn (Stirling). 


Death of the Lord William of Douglas. 

The same year, in the month of August, Sir William of 
Douglas, a wise and most sagacious man, was, while out hunt- 
ing, and crossing Ettrick Forest, unsuspicious of evil from any 
man, was slain by William of Douglas, lord of that ilk ; who, 
afterwards, had other lands given him by our lord the king, 
and was called earl of that lordship. He was thus put to death 
in revenge for the death of Alexander of Eamsay and the 
lord David of Barclay, and because, also, of a great many 
other causes of unfriendliness, and many a grudge stirred up